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Apple hires Burberry CEO to run its retail operations

Oct. 15, 2013 at 11:04 AM   |   Comments

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CUPERTINO, Calif., Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Technology giant Apple Inc. said it has hired the chief executive officer of Britain's Burberry Group to lead its retail operations.

Angela Ahrendts is taking a job left vacant in 2012 with the departure of John Browett. The job, however, has now been expanded to include Apple's online sales, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Ahrendts has been CEO of Britain's Burberry Group since 2006, and is credited with revitalizing the luxury brand and, in 2009, expanding it to include an online division.

The revitalizing, however, included a strong focus on Burberry's own retail outlets and less on sales to department stores. She also spruced up the brand with new clothing designs, more subtle than the red, black and beige checkered pattern for which the brand had been famous, the Journal said.

"I am profoundly honored to join Apple in this newly created position next year, and very much look forward to working with the global teams to further enrich the consumer experience on- and offline," Ahrendts said in a statement.

Her admiration for Apple is not new. In an interview in 2010 with WSJ Magazine, Ahrendts said Burberry's strategy mirrored Apple, rather than rivals Gucci and Channel.

"If I look to any company as a model, it's Apple. They're a brilliant design company working to create a lifestyle and that's the way I see us," she said at the time.

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