Two weeks ago, at Fast Company's Innovation by Design conference, Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts spent time on stage praising her company’s recent collaboration with Apple for a fashion show. What Ahrendts neglected to mention, however, was that her partnership with Apple would soon extend beyond the runway.
Today, Apple announced that Ahrendts would be joining the company as senior vice president of retail and online stores, a newly created position, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. In her role, Ahrendts will “have oversight of the strategic direction, expansion and operation” of the Apple “consumer experience on and offline,” according to a statement Apple released late Monday evening. Most significantly, she brings a reverence for design and customer experience that’s consistent with Apple’s DNA—unlike her predecessor John Browett—which will be crucial in rejuvenating Cupertino’s retail experience.