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Angela Ahrendts

London, UK

Former CEO, Burberry Group (2006-14)

Senior Vice President, Retail and Online Stores at Apple (2014-present)

Ranked #49 on Forbes' list of 100 Most Powerful Women (2014)

Angela Ahrendts is the Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores at Apple, a role she took up in 2014. The gadget giant created the role for her; she’s the first woman on Apple CEO Tim Cook’s executive team. She was previously CEO of Burberry Group. During her tenure here, the company value rose from £2 billion to over £7 billion.

She began her career with major New York brands as an executive for: DKNY (1989-96), Henri Bendel (1996-98) and Liz Claiborne (1998-2005). Across this time she gained a formidable reputation for successfully diversifying and expanding brands whilst growing their reputation internationally.

Since joining Burberry in 2006 she has deployed her trademark vigour to revitalise the ailing British giant. During her seven year tenure she has successfully doubled sales and turned Burberry around to generate annual revenues of over £1.8 billion. Her rapid response restructuring during the early days of the financial crisis led Burberry to outperform every other UK company in 2009, and continue to grow to the largest luxury goods maker in the UK and amongst the top five globally.

Angela is also a keen advocate of technology and social media, which she has made core to Burberry’s marketing strategy. The company maintains an active Facebook and Twitter accounts with over 15 million fans and 2 million followers respectively. An early teaser for the Spring/Summer 2013 range hit over 1 million views on YouTube in 48 hours.

Angela has oversaw Burberry’s great success in Asian markets, especially Hong Kong and Mainland China, which the company confidently predicts it will grow to £480 million worth of business into late 2013. She was awarded a DBE for her services to British business in 2013.

Our Comment

"Angela’s recent successes have shown her to be one of the keenest strategic minds in the luxury goods business. Her record on brand revitalisation, embracing digital media and successfully breaking into growth Asian and Chinese markets is rapidly being hailed as the template other retailers must emulate."

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