OPERATIONS

Apple hires Burberry CEO to run its retail stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Cupertino, Calif. — Apple Inc. has hired a much-admired fashion industry veteran to run its retail stores. The company announced Tuesday that Angela Ahrendts, CEO of British luxury giant Burberry Group Plc, has been appointed to the newly created position of senior VP of retail and online stores. She will join Apple in the spring from Burberry.

At Apple, Ahrendts, 53, will become a member of the executive team and report directly to CEO Tim Cook. She will be the first woman on Apple’s 10-member executive team.

In a statement, Apple said Ahrendts will have “oversight of the strategic direction, expansion and operation of both Apple retail and online stores.”

“I am profoundly honored to join Apple in this newly created position next year, and very much look forward to working with the global teams to further enrich the consumer experience on and offline,” said Ahrendts. “I have always admired the innovation and impact Apple products and services have on people’s lives and hope in some small way I can help contribute to the company’s continued success and leadership in changing the world.”

The appointment fills a major gap in Apple’s lucrative global store operations that goes back to the 2011 departure of Ron Johnson, who resigned as senior VP of retail to head up J.C. Penney. Johnson was replaced by U.K. retail chief John Browett, whose time at Apple was both brief and rocky. He was ousted from the company last year as part of a broader management shakeup.

Prior to joining Burberry, Ahrendts served as executive VP at Liz Claiborne Inc., and, prior to that, as president of Donna Karan International. At Burberry, she is credited with more than doubling the brand’s sales since 2006, partially by focusing on the digital side of the business.

“I am thrilled that Angela will be joining our team,” said Apple CEO Tim 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.”

The Burberry chief is not Apple’s only fashion hire. In August, it tapped Paul Deneve, former CEO and president of Yves Saint Laurent, to be VP in charge of special projects.

Ahrendts’ role at Burberry will be filled by the company’s chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey, who will hold the titles of chief creative officer and CEO.

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Former Walmart exec steps into new role at Crocs

BY CSA STAFF

Casual footwear manufacturer Crocs has appointed former Walmart executive Greg Sullivan as the company’s general manager for the Americas region. The region encompasses North, Central and South America.

In his new role, Sullivan will be responsible for managing the region’s day-to-day operations, including overseeing sales, marketing, finance and human resources functions, as well as the region’s wholesale, internet and direct-to-consumer channels.

"Greg’s deep retail and operations experience, combined with his proven track record of driving sustained, profitable growth, make him the ideal candidate to lead our Americas team," said John McCarvel, president and CEO of Crocs. "As head of our largest region, Greg will play a key role in continuing to evolve and expand the Crocs brand and business in our retail, direct to consumer and wholesale Americas channels.”

Prior to joining Crocs, Sullivan spent 20 years at Walmart, most recently as SVP of operations for Walmart’s Southeast division, where he oversaw total store operations, real estate strategy and profit and loss accountability for the region’s 345 stores and 110,000 associates. Sullivan was heavily involved in the development and implementation of Walmart’s new urban and rural formats, designed to grow market share and profitability.

Sullivan received his MBA from the University of Denver as well as a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Washington.

"Crocs is a strong brand with loyal consumers and exciting growth potential," said Sullivan. "I look forward to helping the brand continue to expand its already extensive footprint in the Americas region, while providing consumers with comfortable, colorful, fun and innovative footwear."

Since its inception in 2002, Crocs has sold more than 200 million pairs of shoes in more than 90 countries around the world.

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Apple nabs Burberry CEO for newly created spot

BY CSA STAFF

Apple has announced that Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry, will be joining the company as SVP of retail and online stores — a newly created position — and as a member of its executive team. Ahrendts will report to CEO Tim Cook.

Ahrendts will be charged with overseeing the strategic direction, expansion and operation of both Apple retail and online stores.

“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.”

Ahrendts will join Apple in the spring. Prior to Burberry, she was EVP at Liz Claiborne Inc., and earlier in her career she served as president of Donna Karan International.

“I am profoundly honored to join Apple in this newly created position next year, and very much look forward to working with the global teams to further enrich the consumer experience on and offline,” said Ahrendts. “I have always admired the innovation and impact Apple products and services have on people’s lives and hope in some small way I can help contribute to the company’s continued success and leadership in changing the world.”

Ahrendts’ role at Burberry will be filled by the company’s chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey, who will hold the titles of chief creative officer and CEO.

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