Apple Taps Burberry CEO to Run Retail Operations

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Apple is adding a touch of plaid to its retail stores.

Apple has tapped Burberry chief Angela Ahrendts to run its retail division, adding a decidely non-tech executive to manage its consumer sales channel.

Apple created a new position for Ahrendts, who will be a senior vice president and member of the company’s executive team. She will report to CEO Tim Cook.

“I am thrilled that Angela will be joining our team,” Cook said in a statement. “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, who became CEO of the British luxury fashion brand in 2006, will oversee the strategic direction, expansion and operation of both Apple retail and online stores, the company said. She will join Apple in spring 2014.

Apple's retail chain – exemplified by bright and modern Apple stores nationwide – hasn't had a high-profile leader since Ron Johnson left two years ago to run J.C. Penney. Johnson was fired from that job in April.

Apple did not disclose what it is paying Ahrendts, but she was the highest paid CEO for any company on the FTSE 100 last year, at $27 million. 

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