British luxury fashion group Burberry PLC yesterday said its long-serving chief executive officer Angela Ahrendts will step down next year to take up a new position with Apple Inc.
The 53-year-old US national is to be replaced by Burberry chief creative officer Christopher Bailey, who will retain his existing title alongside becoming the company’s CEO, a statement issued to the London Stock Exchange said.
In a separate statement, Apple said that Ahrendts “will have oversight of the strategic direction, expansion and operation of both Apple retail and online stores.”
She will in turn become a member of Apple’s executive team.
Ahrendts will join Apple to take up a newly created position as a senior vice president with oversight of Apple retail and online stores.
Ahrendts will report directly to Apple chief executive Tim Cook.
“I am thrilled that Angela will be joining our team,” Cook said. “She shares our values and our focus on innovation, and she places the same strong emphasis as we do on the customer experience. She has shown herself to be an extraordinary leader throughout her career and has a proven track record.”
Ahrendts will have been chief executive of Burberry for about eight years by the time of her departure next year.
The London-listed firm, famous for its trademark red, camel and black check design on clothes and handbags, has undergone huge expansion into emerging markets with Ahrendts at the helm.
Bailey has been at Burberry since 2001 and chief creative officer for the past six years.
“This CEO transition is a natural progression and comes as Burberry reports yet another strong first half revenue performance,” Burberry chairman John Peace said in a statement.
Burberry also said yesterday that its retail revenue rose 17 percent to ￡694 million (US$1.11 billion) in the six months to Sept. 30 — in line with analysts’ forecasts.
The outcome compared with ￡577 million in the same period last year. First-quarter revenue also rose 18 percent.
Retail sales from stores open at least a year grew by 13 percent, helped by double-digit growth in the Asia-Pacific region and the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa division region, and high single digit growth in the Americas. Total revenue was ￡1.03 billion, up 14 percent.