Former Burberry CEO heads to Apple retail next week

Angela Ahrendts steps into her role as retail chief where she will lead both the brick-and-mortar and online Apple stores.

Angela Ahrendts
Apple's new retail chief Angela Ahrendts. LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Apple's new retail chief Angela Ahrendts will join the company next week, Apple announced during its earnings call on Wednesday.

Ahrendts, who was CEO at luxury fashion company Burberry before being hired by Apple last year, will take over as senior vice president of retail operations at Apple starting next week. In her role, Ahrendts will lead Apple's entire retail push and is expected by many analysts to focus much of her time on expanding the company's retail footprint internationally.

Before joining Apple, Ahrendts was widely viewed as the integral component in Burberry's massive retail success. Unlike previous retail chiefs at Apple, Ahrendts will lead both the brick-and-mortar and online Apple stores. Those jobs were previously siloed and run by different people.

Ahrendts replaces John Browett, who was let go from the company after just six months on the job. Although Apple tried to put a happy face on his ouster, it was believed that Browett's vision didn't fall in line with Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook's expectations.

Cook announced Ahrendts' appointment in October 2013, saying that he was "thrilled" that she would be joining the team. Cook went on to say that "Angela has shown herself to be an extraordinary leader throughout her career and has a proven track record."

Ahrendts' impending arrival at Apple comes on the heels of the company's strong showing during the first quarter of this year. Apple reported that it sold 43.7 million iPhones during the first quarter of the year and beat analyst estimates on nearly every major financial metric. The company also announced a 7-for-1 stock split to make its shares more accessible to more investors.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment on the Ahrendts arrival. We will update this story when we have more information.

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