London—Analysts on both sides of the Atlantic have been abuzz today following new that Angela Ahrendts, chief executive at Burberry, will be leaving the luxury brand to assume the newly created position at Apple as a senior vice president with oversight of retail and online stores.
Ahrendts, a 53-year-old American who was been credited with doubling Burberry’s sales pushing its shares up 250%, has been responsible for restoring Burberry’s luster and moving the brand more upscale. Her experience developing Burberry’s direct retail business and expansion into China are seen as major qualities that Apple has been looking for in a retail chief.
Meanwhile, Christopher Bailey, creative director at Burberry, will assume chief executive officer role from Ahrendts next year. Bailey is expected to pursue similar strategies as Ahrendts, who was the highest-paid chief executive on the FTSE with a total package worth 16.9 million pounds.
“Whilst I am sad no longer to have the inspirational leadership of Angela, who has been an absolute joy to work with, I feel more than confident that part of her legacy is an enormously strong team in all of our areas,” Bailey said.
A former executive at Liz Claiborne, Ahrendts said: “Burberry is in brilliant shape, having built the industry’s most powerful management team, converted the business to a dynamic digital global retailer and created a world-class supply chain, state of the art technology infrastructure, sensational brand momentum and one of the most closely connected creative cultures in the world today.”