Apple Hires Burberry CEO

Hired to improve retail, sales in China

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Anthony Behar — Sipa USA

Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts is heading to a new job at Apple, running retail and online stores and helping the company navigate Chinese markets.

Apple will be relying on Ahrendts’ expertise to improve lackluster Chinese sales of the iPhone 5C, and she will be Apple’s best hope for retail since Ron Johnson left in 2011. Ahrendts, who has had great success with Chinese markets in the past, was the U.K.’s highest-paid CEO last year, CNN reports.

Apple is hoping to expand its share of the smartphone market in China (right now it has just 5 percent) and Ahrendts may be the one to do it. In her time at Burberry, she revitalized the luxury fashion brand by using social media and digital marketing to expand its presence in Asia. Since she took the helm in 2006, Burberry’s market value has increased from about $3.3 billion to $11 billion.

Ahrendts, who will be on of the top female executives in the tech industry, will report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook, and will start in mid-2014.

[CNN Money]