Tim Cook's Email to Employees on Hiring Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts as New Retail Chief

angela_ahrendts_bwFollowing Apple's announcement that it is hiring Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to head up its retail and online store effort, CEO Tim Cook has sent an email to employees announcing the hire and giving some additional thoughts on Ahrendts and the hiring process. The full email has been posted by 9to5Mac.

Team,

I am thrilled to announce that Angela Ahrendts will be joining Apple as a senior vice president and member of our executive team, reporting directly to me. Angela is currently the CEO of Burberry.

She will lead both our retail and online teams. I have wanted one person to lead both of these teams for some time because I believe it will better serve our customers, but I had never met anyone whom I felt confident could lead both until I met Angela. We met for the first time last January, and I knew in that meeting that I wanted her to join Apple. We’ve gotten to know each other over the past several months and I’ve left each conversation even more impressed.

She shares our values and our focus on innovation. She places the same strong emphasis as we do on the customer experience. She cares deeply about people and embraces our view that our most important resource and our soul is our people. She believes in enriching the lives of others and she is wicked smart. Angela has shown herself to be an extraordinary leader throughout her career and has a proven track record. She led Burberry through a period of phenomenal growth with a focus on brand, culture, core values and the power of positive energy.

Angela will need to focus over the coming months on transitioning her current role at Burberry and will then join Apple in the spring. I am sure as all of you meet her, you will see why I am so excited that she is joining our executive team. I’d like to add a special thanks to all of our retail leaders. Your strength, talent and leadership afforded me the luxury of taking the time to perform an exhaustive search to find the best person in the world for this role.

Tim

Ahrendts, who previously held positions at Donna Karan and Liz Claiborne, has been CEO of Burberry since 2006. Apple and Burberry last month worked together to film a Burberry fashion shoot entirely with Apple's new iPhone 5s even before it had officially been released, allowing Apple to show off the high-quality camera included on the device.

Update: Former Apple retail chief Ron Johnson told Bloomberg in a statement that Ahrendts is a "terrific choice" and she will be "exceptionally well received" at the company.

Top Rated Comments

DOSNET Avatar
135 months ago
For some reason, she kinda looks like a female Tim Cook to me.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xionxiox Avatar
135 months ago
Why did he hire John Browett then ?

OMG be quiet already -_- They hired him. He wasn't the right fit. They fired him. Get over it.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Millah Avatar
135 months ago
Why did he hire John Browett then ?

I'm sure you've never made a single mistake in your life, correct?
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
135 months ago
Why did he hire John Browett then ?

Why did Steve Jobs bring on John Sculley?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
135 months ago
Here's an interesting comment from Ahrendts on how she thinks of retail. I think this hire is nothing but a net positive for Apple.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3019991/apples-new-consumer-experience-chief-angela-ahrendts-on-the-future-of-retail

"Everything we’ve done is counterintuitive to traditional selling organizations, with their traditional training. My dad used to always say that he could teach anything but he couldn’t teach how to feel. That’s the hardest part when you have 11,000 people: How do you teach them to feel how we feel? When I first started, we had no training programs--none of that. We had to put in world-class sales and service training programs. The thing is, I don’t want to be sold to when I walk into a store. I want to be welcomed. The job is to be a brilliant brand ambassador. Everybody is welcome. Don’t be judgmental whatsoever. Look them in the eyes. Welcome them. ‘How are you?’ Don’t sell! NO! Because that is a turnoff. So how do you hire all these amazing people and put them in a world-class retail setting and then say, ‘But you’re not allowed to sell’?! How do you put this whole digital team together and say, ‘But we are not doing any direct marketing to sell to you!’? The digital guys look at you like you’re nuts. But no, no, no, no, no. What we have wanted to do is build an amazing brand experience and an amazing way that people can engage with the brand. Then it will naturally happen. And then I don’t care where they buy. I only care that they buy the brand.”
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnasher729 Avatar
135 months ago
Here's the question: Does she realise that she needs to make dollars by selling devices, and not save pennies on the staff?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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