Apple’s incoming SVP of Retail can leave Burberry this month, but may stay until June for bonus


Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s incoming SVP of Retail, may not be in her new position as quickly as once thought.

The Guardian first noted that Ahrendts can leave her gig as the CEO of Burberry during April, but may stay for a bit longer to collect an £8 million share bonus that will be awarded from the fashion giant in June.

Apple had originally pegged her joining the company “in the spring” in its mid-October announcement.

Per her contract, Ahrendts had to stay at Burberry for sixth months to assist in the power change to her successor Christopher Bailey, currently chief creative officer, which is up this month. Ahrendts is said to want to leave next month to take up her new position at Apple, but she’s currently haggling with Burberry and Apple over compensation for the payout in June. Thus, why no date of her leaving has been announced.

Ahrendts will be filling the SVP position where she will oversee the strategic direction, expansion and operation of both Apple retail and online stores. It was a position long held by the popular Ron Johnson,  and then John Browett, who took over the position in early 2012, and was let go a measly nine months later.

If she stays at Burberry for the remaining months, Ahrendts’ will help put the final touches on Burberry’s plans for re-entering Japan.

“It’s a big sum of money. In some ways it would be good to see the business moving on after six months of handover time. You want to see clarity,” said Rahul Sharma, an analyst at Neev Capital, speaking to The Guardian about Ahrendts hanging on at Burberry for a few more months. “That is a big concern in the back of investors’ minds and Ahrendt’s presence delays that point of judgment.”  

Putting Ahrendts in the SVP position at Apple is seen as a big deal for the Cupertino-based company’s retail sector. Fortune named her number four in its 2013 list of top executives.

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