“Apple has poached high-profile Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts as it seeks to deepen its push into China and looks for new ways to excite consumers about its products,” Virginia Harrison reports for CNNMoney.

“Ahrendts has been hired for a new role at Apple, taking charge of retail and online stores and reporting to CEO Tim Cook,” Harrison reports. “She will start in the middle of 2014. The move comes as Apple attempts to improve its fortunes in China, a market in which Ahrendts has had great success in the past.”

Harrison reports, “Apple has been without a heavy-hitting head of retail since Ron Johnson left in 2011 for an ill-fated stint as CEO at J.C. Penney. Ahrendts was the highest paid CEO in the U.K. last year. By joining Apple she’ll become one of the highest profile women executives in technology, alongside Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook and Marissa Mayer at Yahoo.”

“The company will hope Ahrendts can help change that. Appointed Burberry chief executive in 2006, American-born Ahrendts has been credited with turning around the luxury fashion brand and expanding its presence in Asia,” Harrison reports. “Under her leadership, Burberry’s market value has increased to £7 billion from £2.1 billion. That expansion was driven in large part by a boom in sales of luxury goods like trench coats, handbags and shoes, to Asia.”

Read more in the full article here.

Apple’s press release:

Angela Ahrendts

Angela Ahrendts

Apple today announced that Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry, will be joining Apple in a newly created position, as a senior vice president and member of our executive team, reporting to CEO Tim Cook.

Ahrendts will have oversight of the strategic direction, expansion and operation of both Apple retail and online stores, which have redefined the shopping experience for hundreds of millions of customers around the world. Apple retail stores set the standard for customer service with innovative features like the Genius Bar, Personal Setup and One to One personal training to help customers get the most out of their Apple products.

“I am thrilled that Angela will be joining our team,” said Cook. “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.”

“I am profoundly honored to join Apple in this newly created position next year, and very much look forward to working with the global teams to further enrich the consumer experience on and offline,” said Ahrendts. “I have always admired the innovation and impact Apple products and services have on people’s lives and hope in some small way I can help contribute to the company’s continued success and leadership in changing the world.”

Ahrendts will join Apple in the spring from Burberry, where she serves as CEO and has led the company through a period of outstanding global growth. Prior to Burberry, she was executive vice president at Liz Claiborne Inc., and earlier in her career she served as president of Donna Karan International.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, this seems like a sounder move than hiring the guy from Dixons.

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