Apple looked to the fashion industry to bolster its already successful retail operations.
Ending a yearlong search for a head of retail operations, Apple added the first woman to its 10-member executive team by tapping Burberry's chief executive officer, Angela Ahrendts.
Ahrendts, 53, will oversee Apple's 400-plus retail stores as well as its online store. The executive doubled Burberry's sales in half a decade and helped bring the old, storied brand into the digital age. She has also worked at Liz Claiborne and Donna Karan, both fashion companies, meaning Apple will be her first foray into the technology space. But Apple stores earn more per square foot of retail space than any fashion outlet, including famous jeweller Tiffany & Co.
Apple's stores have been around since only 2001, but hundreds of millions of visitors annually generate billions per quarter in revenues.
Ahrendts won't technically join Apple's team until the spring of 2014, as she is taking time to transition out of her role at Burberry. The fashion company's chief creative officer, the young Christopher Bailey, will replace her as CEO.
Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg