Fortune names Apple’s head of retail Angela Ahrendts #4 in 2013 list of top executives


Last month, Apple announced that it had finally found its new head of retail after nearly a year of searching. Her name is Angela Ahrendts, the current CEO of British fashion house Burberry, and she’s believed by many to be a great choice.

And apparently Fortune agrees. The business news outlet has named Ahrendts #4 in its 2013 list of top executives. The list is an annual affair, and is filled with execs who defied expectations, led big turnarounds, and delivered big results…

Here’s what Fortune had to say about Apple’s incoming retail leader:

“Ahrendts was already having a banner year as the CEO of British fashion house Burberry. The stock was up 29%, vs. the FTSE 100’s 10%, despite fears of a slowdown in greater China and continued ennui in Europe — when she shocked the luxury and tech worlds with news that she was decamping to Cupertino, Calif., to head up Apple’s retail and online stores. Ahrendts takes the reins in 2014, and she will oversee an operation with some $20 billion in annual sales (compared with Burberry’s $3.2 billion).”

Ahrendts’s new role makes her the top woman executive at Apple, and her success will be no easy feat. Remember that the company’s previous SVP of retail, John Browett, lasted less than a year before he was ousted by Tim Cook last fall.

But hopes are high for Angela, who many believe will help lead Apple into the future where wearables and other fashion-meets-tech products are expected to be popular. Ahrendt knows fashion, knows retail and knows how to be successful.

Here’s Tim Cook on the hire:

“I am thrilled that Angela will be joining our team,” said Cook. “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.”

Speaking of Cook, he made Fortune’s 2013 list of top executives as well. The CEO came in at #47—a huge drop from last year’s #2 spot—because Fortune says that Apple—who is the world’s most valuable company—didn’t have a good year.

Ahrendt will officially start at Apple in the spring of 2014.