SAN FRANCISCO — Apple announced Tuesday that it hired Angela Ahrendts, the chief executive of Burberry, the British luxury fashion company, as a member of its executive team.
The company said Ms. Ahrendts would serve in a newly created role as senior vice president overseeing the strategy and operation of its retail and online stores. She will start working for Apple in the spring.
Ms. Ahrendts is Apple’s second big hire from the fashion industry amid reports that the company is readying an Internet-connected wristwatch. In the summer, the company hired Paul Deneve, the former chief executive of Yves Saint Laurent, the French fashion house, to work on special projects, reporting directly to Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive.
Before joining the British retailer, Ms. Ahrendts served in leadership roles at Liz Claiborne and Donna Karan International. She and Mr. Bailey have been working together at Burberry for nearly a decade, a period in which they transformed its image from stale and stodgy to sexy and chic.
Ms. Ahrendts’s reign at the top of Burberry has been a rewarding one for shareholders. When she joined the company on July 1, 2006, the shares were trading around 4.30 pounds, or about $6.88 at current exchange rates. They closed London trading at 15.85 pounds, or about $25.32, on Monday, before the announcement of her departure.
Ms. Ahrendts’s role at Burberry will be filled by the company’s chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey, Burberry said in a statement.
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