Apple Hires Burberry C.E.O.

October 15, 2013

Apple Hires Burberry C.E.O.

By BRIAN X. CHEN

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple announced Tuesday that it hired Angela Ahrendts, the chief executive of Burberry, the British luxury fashion company, as a member of its executive team. The company said Ms. Ahrendts would serve in a newly created role as senior vice president overseeing the strategy and operation of its retail and online stores. She will start working for Apple in the spring.Ms. Ahrendts is Apple’s second big hire from the fashion industry amid reports that the company is readying an Internet-connected wristwatch. In the summer, the company hired Paul Deneve, the former chief executive of Yves Saint Laurent, the French fashion house, to work on special projects, reporting directly to Mr. Cook.

Apple’s retail stores have been crucial to its success. The company years ago abandoned trade shows because its retail stores worldwide became a better showcase for its new products. Asymco, a research firm, estimated that Apple’s stores bring in $13 million in revenue a quarter on average.

In a management shake-up last year, Apple fired its executive in charge of retail, John Browett. The move was not surprising to outsiders: Last August, the company publicly apologized for a plan by Mr. Browett to cut back on staffing at its stores.

In 2011, Ron Johnson, the former Apple executive in charge of retail, left the company to take the helm at J.C. Penney. It was a bad fit, and after 17 months, Mr. Johnson was pushed out of Penney.

Ms. Ahrendts’s role at Burberry will be filled by the company’s chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey, Burberry said in a statement.

Before joining the British retailer, Ms. Ahrendts served in leadership roles at Liz Claiborne and Donna Karan International. She and Mr. Bailey have been working together at Burberry for nearly a decade, a period in which they transformed its image from stale and stodgy to sexy and chic.

“I am thrilled that Angela will be joining our team,” said Timothy D. Cook, in a statement. “She shares our values and our focus on innovation, and she places the same strong emphasis as we do on the customer experience. She has shown herself to be an extraordinary leader throughout her career and has a proven track record.”

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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