Angela Ahrendts has been leading the charge for Apple’s physical retail arm for years now, but that tenure will be coming to an end soon.
Apple on Tuesday officially announced that Ahrendts will be leaving the company in April. That will bring her five year run with Apple to an end. As a result of the planned departure, Apple has decided to shift a specific person around and add a title to her already impressive resume. Deirdre O’Brien is currently the company’s Vice President of People, and will now be taking Ahrendts’s role.
“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.”
As a result of that, O’Brien will now be Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail and People. That means she will be leading the charge in Apple’s store aspect, both physical and online. She will be reporting directly to Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook.
“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.”
O’Brien, in a statement, said that she is excited about the every day opportunity to work with some of the best people at Apple. In addition to that, she said that she is looking forward to continuing her “important work” within the People division at Apple, supporting all of Apple’s employees:
“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.”
Cook thanked Ahrendts for her time spent with the company. The former head of Apple’s retail presence said that working with the company for the last five years has been “stimulating, challenging, and fulfilling”.
“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.”
This is a huge change for Apple, especially considering the impact that Ahrendts has had on the company as a whole, and so much so in its retail presence. The Today At Apple program has exploded since its inception, and it has made Apple stores a very fun place to visit when it comes to learning about the company’s products. Still, O’Brien will more than likely be a great presence as well.