Angela Ahrendts makes good first impression in first weeks at Apple


Apple’s former SVP of retail John Browett left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. After just six months in the position, it was pretty clear he wasn’t right for the job, and Tim Cook fired him. And not only that, but he spent over a year finding a proper replacement.

The good news is, that replacement was Angela Ahrendts, and by all accounts she’s nothing like Browett. In fact, according to a new report from 9to5Mac, she has already visited a number Apple Stores in the the San Francisco area, and the employees love her…

Here’s 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman with more:

Ahrendts has also been touring many of Apple’s stores in the areas surrounding Apple’s Cupertino, California campus. Ahrendts is said to have visited the new Stanford store and multiple stores in San Francisco. Employees who have met with Ahrendts describe the new retail chief as “warm and genuine,” “honest,” and “passionate.” As one senior-ranking Apple retail executive put it, “she is so Apple.” […]

In conversations with Apple employees, Ahrendts noted that she has always been inspired by Apple, and particularly by the late Steve Jobs. Ahrendts even credited some of Burberry’s success to the fashion retailer’s interactions with Apple. The two companies partnered last year to film Burberry’s London fashion show with the iPhone 5s, and select Burberry stores have been outfitted with iPads as tools for customers to view more information about products.

Ahrendts consistently noted in all of her interactions thus far with retail employees and executives how excited she is for the future of Apple retail and how much she enjoys and fits in with the Apple culture. As Cook told employees upon announcing Ahrendts’ appointment last fall, “she cares deeply about people and embraces our view that our most important resource and our soul is our people.”

But Ahrendts isn’t just a people pleaser. Gurman goes on to say that she has already begun reshaping Apple’s retail executive team, and has laid out a 3-prong strategy that includes China, mobile payments, and an end-to-end redesign of the Apple Store sales experience.

The entire article is very thorough and informative, and well worth a read.

Apple first announced it had hired Angela Ahrendts for retail chief late last year. At the time, she was the CEO of Burberry, where she was recognized several times for her performance. She officially started at Apple last month, and was given a $70 million signing bonus.