Angela Ahrendts to leave Burberry for Apple
Burberry has announced that its longstanding chief executive Angela Ahrendts is to leave the business next year to join Apple.
Stepping down in mid-2014, Ahrendts will be succeeded by Burberry’s chief creative officer Christopher Bailey.
Having worked with Burberry since 2001, Bailey has been the retailer’s chief creative officer for the past six years, overseeing product design and development, creative marketing, store design, consumer technology and digital innovation.
In his new role, Bailey will take the title of chief creative and chief executive officer. In a statement Burberry said: “In line with other great creative companies, Christopher will continue to create and drive the vision for the company closely supported by an outstanding and experienced team and strong partners. To assure a seamless transition, Christopher and Angela will continue to work closely over the coming months. He will be joining the Board in due course.”
Commenting on his appointment Bailey added: "I am profoundly moved and humbled to be asked to take on the CEO role at this company that means so much to me.
“It has been my privilege to work with people right across the company over the last ten years, and whilst I am sad no longer to have the inspirational leadership of Angela, who has been an absolute joy to work with, I feel more than confident that part of her legacy is an enormously strong team in all of our areas."
Having spent eight years at Burberry, Ahrendts is widely credited with transforming the company into a globally recognised brand. At Apple she will take up the role of senior vice president of retail and online stores, reporting directly to Apple chief executive Tim Cook.
Ahrendts said: "Burberry is in brilliant shape, having built the industry's most powerful management team, converted the business to a dynamic digital global retailer, created a world class supply chain, state of the art technology infrastructure, sensational brand momentum and one of the most closely connected creative cultures in the world today. It has been an honour to have partnered with Sir John Peace and Christopher for the last eight years.
“I am confident that, with Sir John's continued guidance and the executive team's support, Christopher, as one of this generation's greatest visionaries, will continue to lead Burberry to new heights. Today, Burberry is not only a great brand, but a truly great company."
The news comes as Burberry reported a 14% rise in revenue in the first half of its financial year, driven by strong sales across Asia and Europe.
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