Apple Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts will leave her position and leave the company in April. A press release on Apple's website says that Ahrendts leaves "for new personal and professional pursuits." She has the title of Senior Vice President, Retail, and reports directly to CEO Tim Cook.
In 2014, Ahrendts joined Apple from Burberry, where she had been CEO. She had been credited with reversing negative trends and with Burberry transforming her business. She did this by preparing a toy book that was partly inspired by Apple. Before that, she had worked in other leading, operational and market-leading roles in the fashion industry since the 80s.
In a statement on Ahrend's departure, Cook said, "I want to thank Angela for inspiring and stimulating our teams over the past five years. She has been a positive transformative force, both for Apple's stores and the communities they serve. We all wish her best when she begins a new chapter. "
In the same release, Apple announced that Vice President of People Deidre O & # 39; Brien will take over Ahrendt's responsibility for retailing and adopting the title of Senior Vice President of Retail + People. Brien is currently managing HR for the company, including recruitment, talent development, benefits, diversity and much more. Brien will also report to Cook.
Because she comes from HR, B & B; Brien can seem like an unusual fit. But Apple employs 70,000 people in retail, and she has been responsible for her career development to date. Apple also has extensive internal employee training programs that it has monitored, and training and training sessions are a major part of the new vision for Apple stores. Brien will take on the role after more than three decades with the company.
Also, retail transitions have not always been fine for Apple. The company went without a general manager for more than a year starting in 2012. That's when CEO John Browett lasted just a few months in the post. Apple may have chosen a trusted leader such as Brien to avoid similar turmoil.
The Apple stores were launched just a few years after Steve Jobs took the helm of the company two decades ago. Analysts and pundits predicted that the stores would fail, but they became very successful and have been imitated largely in technology and in other industries. The company has dedicated parts of its famous main themes to discuss retailing, and it is currently continuing to expand a new concept of stores that combine patio, community-like art tours and classes, and the original gadget showroom approach. Ahrendts was at the forefront of that initiative.
Listed image of Valentina Palladino