Apple’s Retail Head Calls It Quits After Five Successful Years With The Tech Giant

Apple Inc.
Angela Ahrendts, Apple Inc. senior vice president of retail and online stores, speaks with a worker at Apple's new retail store (Photo: Reuters)

One of Apple's highest-paid executives and its only female senior staff has announced her resignation. Angela Ahrendts, who was Burberry's previous CEO, heads Apple's retail and online store division. Ahrendts joined Apple shortly after leaving Burberry in 2014. She has been with the company for five successful years. Thanks to her various retail strategies, she has helped shape Apple to become the company it is today.

According to a report from CNN, Ahrendts was hired by the California-based tech conglomerate as part of its efforts to penetrate the Chinese market. While it might not be directly related to Ahrendt's exit, Apple has been struggling to sell its products in China amidst the on-going trade war and various other factors. General Apple sales have also fallen by 15 percent, with the company only making US$51.98 billion in the fourth-quarter of 2018.

Ahrendts has already publicly announced her departure from the company, with her officially leaving the company in April. According to an official Apple statement, Ahrendts is apparently leaving for "personal and professional pursuits." Aside from that statement, Apple has declined to give any other reason for her departure from the company. Apple CEO Tim Cook also released a statement that thanked Ahrendts for her contributions over the past five years. Cook also acknowledged her positive impact on their brick-and-mortar stores and the entire Apple community as a whole.

Ahrendts steered the company's retail division into its most profitable years during her tenure. Under her guidance and the guidance of the other executives, Apple became the world's first company to have a trillion-dollar valuation. Although, shortly after stock prices did fall due to decreasing iPhone sales that were lower than initially forecasted.

Ahrendts managed to help the company reach this particular milestone through different strategies that were applied to their brick-and-mortar stores. Ahrendts was also instrumental in the launch of new flagship locations and the creation of popular events that helped the company acquire new customers. She also helped strengthen the company's luxury-branding through strategic global marketing efforts. At one point in time, Ahrendts was even considered as a possible successor to Tim Cook to head the company.

After Ahrendt's exit, her position will reportedly be filled by Apple's current vice president of human resources, Deirdre O'Brien. She will apparently be assigned in an expanded role that will handle both "retail and people." O'Brien has been with the company for over 30 years and has worked in various positions, including being the head of career development and internal training. 

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