Angela Ahrendts leaves Apple a Multi-millionaire

Angela Ahrendts, DBE (born June 7, 1960)[3] is an American businesswoman and was the senior vice president of retail at Apple Inc. She was the CEO of Burberry from 2006 to 2014.[4] Angela Ahrendts left Burberry to join Apple in 2014.[5]

Ahrendts was ranked 25th in Forbes’ 2015 list of the most powerful women in the world,[6] 9th most powerful woman in the U.K. in the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour 100 Power List,[7] and 29th in Fortunes 2014 list of the world’s most powerful women in business.[8] She was also a member of the UK’s Prime Minister’s business advisory council until it was disbanded in 2016.[9][10]

Angela Ahrendts Early life

Ahrendts was born and raised in New Palestine, Indiana, the third of six children.[1] Her father, Richard Ahrendts, was a businessman, and her mother, Jean, was a homemaker.[11]

She attended New Palestine High School, where she was a varsity cheerleader.[11] In 1982, she earned an undergraduate degree in Merchandising and Marketing from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

Angela Ahrendts Career

Ahrendts moved to New York City to work in the fashion industry.[1] After a series of positions including merchandising at bra maker Warnaco,[1] Ahrendts joined Donna Karan International in 1989, working to develop the luxury brand internationally through both wholesale and licensing.[12] In 1996 she was hired at Henri Bendel by Leslie Wexner to expand Bendel stores to 50 new markets, but the project was cancelled by the board of directors two years later.[1]

In 1998, she joined Fifth & Pacific Companies as vice president of corporate merchandising and design. In 2001, she was promoted to senior vice president of corporate merchandising and group president, responsible for the merchandising of the group’s 20 plus brands including Laundry by Shelli Segal, Lucky Brand Dungarees and the men’s retail business of Liz Claiborne Inc. In 2002, she was promoted again to serve as executive vice president, with full responsibility for the complete line of Liz Claiborne products, services and development across both women’s and men’s lines.[12]

Angela Ahrendts Burberry

Ahrendts joined Burberry in January 2006, and took up the position of CEO on July 1, 2006 replacing Rose Marie Bravo. Ahrendts mitigated the brand’s decline in prestige by immediately limiting the number of clothing and accessories carrying the Burberry check pattern to 10%, minimizing the damage ubiquitous counterfeits had caused to sales. She also oversaw the buying back of the brand’s fragrance and beauty product licenses and the buying out of the Spanish franchise which was then generating 20% of group revenues to stop its unfettered licensing.[13][1] Ahrendts says she did not model her approach after any other fashion house, but looked to world-class design as an influence, including Apple Inc..[1] The company value rose during her tenure from £2 billion to over £7 billion.[1]

Angela Ahrendts Salary

CNN Money reported that during 2012, she was the highest paid CEO in the UK, making $26.3 million.[14]

Angela Ahrendts career at Apple

On October 15, 2013, it was announced that Ahrendts would leave Burberry in Spring 2014 to join Apple Inc. as a member of its executive team as senior vice president of Apple stores (Apple retail and Apple online stores), filling the spot vacated by John Browett in October 2012. On May 1, 2014, Apple‘s new SVP of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts was placed on the Apple Leadership roster, signaling her official entry into the company.[15][16]

According to Apple’s 2015 Proxy Statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission,[17] Ahrendts earned over $70 million in 2014, more than any other executive at Apple, including CEO Tim Cook. As of August 2016, she is reported to own approximately US$11 million worth of Apple shares.[18]


Angela Ahrendts leaves Apple

On February 5th, 2019, Apple announced that Ahrendts would be leaving in April [19] to be replaced by Deirdre O’Brien.

Angela Ahrendts may not have taken a typical path into the tech world. But she has been one of the most important and highest-paid executives at Apple up until the company announced on Tuesday that she would be leaving in April.

Apple did not say where or why Ahrendts was leaving, other than to note that she was embarking on “new personal and professional pursuits.” Ahrendts joined Apple in 2014 as its head of retail, filling a position that had been vacant for more than a year. At the time, the tech world was surprised Ahrendts didn’t have a background in tech and previously had been her own boss; she joined Apple from British fashion house Burberry, where she had served as CEO for eight years.

But Apple has obviously appreciated her. Ahrendts has gotten almost double the compensation of Apple CEO Tim Cook. She’s also been the only female senior executive at the iPhone maker.

Here’s how Ahrendts rose from her origins in a small town outside Indianapolis to becoming an executive at the most valuable company in the world.

Ahrendts grew up in New Palestine, Indiana.

Ahrendts was one of six kids in her family. She was a cheerleader in high school and played tennis and volleyball. She also did gymnastics.

Ahrendts’ athletic prowess may in part be due to her height she’s just under six feet tall.

Source: The Indianapolis Star

As a kid, Ahrendts sewed her own clothes and dreamed of joining the fashion industry.

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Ian Gavan/Getty

“It was always fashion. If you read my high school yearbook, I was [someone] who at 16 knew exactly what I was going to do,” she told The Guardian.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian

Ahrendts attended Ball State University in Indiana. The day after her final exams, she moved to New York City, leaving on a one-way ticket.

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YouTube, Burberry

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Ahrendts got her start in sales working for a menswear company. She moved from there to merchandising at bra maker Warnaco, and starting in the late 80s, she served as president of Donna Karan International for six years.

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JP Yim/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows

Source: Business of Fashion

In the mid-90s, Ahrendts worked at Henri Bendel and was charged with expanding its number of stores. Ahrendts’ job was to open Bendel stores in 50 new markets, but the company’s board eventually cancelled the project.

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Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Henri Bendel

Source: Wall Street Journal

In 1998, Ahrendts joined Liz Claiborne. She spent eight years there, eventually working her way up to executive vice president.

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Alexander Natruskin/Reuters

Source: Business of Fashion

Ahrendts became CEO of Burberry in 2006 and immediately went to work revitalizing the company.

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AP Photo / Eric Risberg

Her first order of business was shutting down 35 product categories, many of which featured Burberry’s famous check pattern. The company’s brand had been over-licensed over the years, diluting its value.

Source: Business of Fashion

During her tenure at Burberry, Ahrendts pushed the company to adopt new technologies.

Under her leadership, Burberry embraced ecommerce and updated its in-store technology. It also launched new product lines, and the company’s retail operations expanded into new markets.

Source: Business of Fashion

Ahrendts moved her family to the United Kingdom when she joined Burberry. Rather than living in a townhouse in London, the family opted for a 12,000-square-foot manor house in the suburbs, complete with a tennis court and indoor pool.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Angela Ahrendts met her husband, Gregg Couch, in elementary school; they’ve now been together for 40 years.

The couple had a 17-year long-distance relationship while Ahrendts was living in Manhattan and working 80 hours a week. Couch eventually moved to New York, and he and Ahrendts got married when they were in their 30s.

Couch started his own contracting business after moving to New York, but he gave it up when Ahrendts took over as CEO of Burberry, becoming a stay-at-home dad.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Ahrendts has three children; her son, Jennings, is an aspiring musician. Her other two children are both daughters Sommer and Angelina.

Family is important to Ahrendts she once turned down an invitation to the Oscars to spend more time at home.

Source: Daily Mail

Ahrendts wakes up at 4:35 every morning but doesn’t use an alarm clock. She’s also a Diet Coke addict she once admitted she drinks five or six cans a day.

Source: Daily Mail, Wall Street Journal

Angela Ahrendts Net worth

In 2013, Ahrendts became the highest-paid CEO in the UK, taking in $26.3 million. Net-worth is unknown

Source: CNN

While at Burberry, Ahrendts had a clothing allowance of more than $33,000.

She also got an 80% discount on her Burberry purchases.

Ahrendts was often decked out in clothes from Burberry Prorsum the brand’s haute couture line. She still wears the brand’s clothes even though she no longer works at the company.

Source: The Guardian

In 2014, Ahrendts was named an honorary Dame Commander of the British Empire. She got the honorary DBE title “for her contribution to British business” during Ahrendts’ tenure at Burberry, the company’s stock price more than tripled.

 Angela Ahrendts leaves apple
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Getty / Gareth Cattermole

Source: WWD, Financial Times

In April 2014, Ahrendts became executive vice president of retail at Apple.

 Angela Ahrendts
Angela Ahrendts Apple
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AP/Tony Avelar

The tech giant tasked her with revamping its stores and improving employee morale. It also gave her the charge of making the buying process at its outlets feel more like a luxury experience and of improving the merger of its digital and brick-and-mortar shopping experiences.

Source: Fast Company , New York Times

Angela Ahrendts was a fan of Apple even before she joined the company.

 Angela Ahrendts
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Stephen Lam

“If I look to any company as a model, it’s Apple,” she told the Wall Street Journal while still serving as Burberry’s CEO. “They’re a brilliant design company working to create a lifestyle, and that’s the way I see us.”

Source: Wall Street Journal

She’s been Apple’s best-paid employee, taking in $24.2 million in 2017. That’s twice what Apple CEO Tim Cook made.

 Angela Ahrendts
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Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Fast Company

Source: Business Insider

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