“Apple Inc. hired Burberry Group Plc Chief Executive Officer Angela Ahrendts as head of retail operations, ending a yearlong search and adding the first woman to its 10-member executive team,” Adam Satariano and Adam Ewing report for Bloomberg. “Ahrendts, 53, will oversee more than 400 retail outlets and Apple’s online store, the Cupertino, California-based company said today. Apple is tapping an executive who more than doubled Burberry’s sales since 2006, rejuvenating the brand by expanding in China, as well as embracing the Web and social media.”

“Ahrendts’s tenure at Burberry will be useful for Apple, which is facing the challenge of growing outside the U.S. and maintaining its high-end appeal as products become more mainstream,” Satariano and Ewing report. “‘With iPhones being in more and more households, their brand is more of a mass-market brand than it has ever been and they can’t risk losing the aspirational aspect,’ said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Gartner Inc.”

“Ahrendts will join Apple in the spring of 2014, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. Apple, the world’s most valuable company, has been without a full-time retail chief since last October, when former retail head John Browett was ousted by Cook as part of a broader management shakeup,” Satariano and Ewing report. “Ahrendts has long championed the integration of technology and fashion. Burberry streamed a fashion show globally live last month using Apple’s new iPhone 5s. She helped push Burberry to team up with Twitter Inc. to stay on the cusp of technology by posting backstage photos of a runway show on the social-networking service.”

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