Angela Ahrendts, DBE (born June 7, 1960) is an American businesswoman. She was the CEO of Burberry from 2006 to 2014. Ahrendts left Burberry to join Apple Inc. as Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Sales in 2014. Ahrendts was ranked 49th in Forbes’ 2014 list of the most powerful women in the world, 9th most powerful woman in the U.K. in the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour 100 Power List, and 29th in Fortune’s 2014 list of the world’s most powerful women in business.
Ahrendts was born and raised in New Palestine, Indiana, the third of six children. Her father, Richard Ahrendts, was a businessman, and her mother, Jean, was a homemaker.
She attended New Palestine High School, where she was a varsity cheerleader. In 1982, She earned an undergraduate degree in Merchandising and Marketing from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. In 2010, she received an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Ball State.
Career Ahrendts moved to New York City to work the fashion industry. After a series of positions including merchandising at bra maker Warnaco, Ahrendts joined Donna Karan International in 1989, working to develop the luxury brand internationally through both wholesale and licensing. 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.
In 1998, she joined Fifth & Pacific Companies as Vice President of Corporate Merchandising and Design. In 2001, she was promoted to Senior Vice President Corporate Merchandising and Group President, responsible for the merchandising of the groups 20 plus brands including Laundry by Shelli Segal, Lucky Brand Dungarees and the mens 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.
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 out of the Spanish franchise which was then generating 20% of group revenues to stop its unfettered licensing. Ahrendts says she does not model her approach after any other fashion house, but looks to world class design as an influence including Apple Inc.. The company value rose during her tenure from £2 billion to over £7 billion. CNN Money reported that during 2012, she was the highest paid CEO in the UK, making $26.3 million.
Apple On October 15, 2013, it was announced that Ahrendts will leave Burberry in Spring 2014 to join Apple Inc. as a member of its executive team as Senior Vice President of Retail and 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.
According to Apple’s 2015 Proxy Statement filed with the SEC, Ahrendts earned over $70 million, more than CEO Tim Cook. As the sole female executive at Apple, this amount far surpassed the earnings of her fellow (male) executives. title