Angela Ahrendts is leaving Apple in April

The former CEO of Burberry was once rumored to be a possible Apple CEO.

Apple’s press release:

angela ahrendts leaving apple Diedre O'BrienCupertino, California — Apple today announced that Deirdre O’Brien is taking on new responsibilities for Apple’s retail and online stores in an expanded role as senior vice president of Retail + People, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. After five transformative years leading the company’s retail and online stores, Angela Ahrendts plans to depart Apple in April for new personal and professional pursuits.

In her expanded role, Deirdre will bring her three decades of Apple experience to lead the company’s global retail reach, focused on the connection between the customer and the people and processes that serve them. She will continue to lead the People team, overseeing all People-related functions, including talent development and Apple University, recruiting, employee relations and experience, business partnership, benefits, compensation, and inclusion and diversity.

“At Apple, we believe our soul is our people, and Deirdre understands the qualities and strengths of our team better than anyone,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “For more than three decades, she has helped keep Apple focused on serving customers and enriching lives. She’s an exceptional leader and she’s been a vital partner to our retail teams around the world since the very beginning. I am thrilled to work alongside Deirdre in her new role, and I know our 70,000 retail employees will be, too.”

“People come to Apple to do the best work of their lives, and our retail teams show their passion every day, in every interaction, all around the world,” said Deirdre O’Brien, senior vice president of Retail + People. “It is the opportunity of a lifetime to work with, and learn from, such a talented, diverse and imaginative team. I am looking forward to this journey, and to continuing the important work of the People team in supporting all of Apple’s amazing employees.”

Apple today operates 35 online stores and 506 retail stores on five continents, staffed by teams who are dedicated to enriching lives and serving their communities. Every Apple retail store location offers innovative programs for customers, including Today at Apple, designed to unlock creativity, inspire learning and encourage connection.

“I want to thank Angela for inspiring and energizing our teams over the past five years,” said Tim Cook. “She has been a positive, transformative force, both for Apple’s stores and the communities they serve. We all wish her the very best as she begins a new chapter.”

“The last five years have been the most stimulating, challenging and fulfilling of my career. Through the teams’ collective efforts, Retail has never been stronger or better positioned to make an even greater contribution for Apple,” said Angela Ahrendts, senior vice president of Retail. “I feel there is no better time to pass the baton to Deirdre, one of Apple’s strongest executives. I look forward to watching how this amazing team, under her leadership, will continue to change the world one person and one community at a time.”

Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.

My take: I met Ahrendts a couple times. She seemed way too shy at Apple to be its CEO.


  1. Jonny Tilney said:
    Very orderly. Well done.

    February 5, 2019
  2. Dan Scropos said:
    Angela was phenomenal and will be missed. She was exquisite and classy, and Apple’s stores were molded similarly. Wishing her the best.

    February 5, 2019
  3. Andrew Cannon said:
    They need to improve the experience. It’s a total trainwreck, albeit a profitable one.

    February 5, 2019
  4. Aaron Belich said:
    There are too many people waiting for support at the Seattle area Apple stores these days. They either need to open more Genius Bars, more stores, or enlist more third party support.

    February 6, 2019
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      I agree. Seems to me that sales are being lost BECAUSE the Stores are so crowded. But what do I know. Here in Spokane, Washington’s 2nd busiest Store, it gets so crowded that there are times you can hardly move around, and the wait for a Genius can be mind numbing.

      February 6, 2019

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