Apple is making another change to its executive lineup, with a potential shift in the way it handles retail coming along with it.
Earlier this week, Apple announced that Angela Ahrendts is leaving the company in April. Ahrendts has been part of the company for five years, and helped build Apple’s retail presence into the juggernaut it is. For example, Today At Apple sessions have blossomed into something truly exciting and worthwhile. But now that Ahrendts is on the way out, things are going to change.
Apple has already named Ahrendts’s replacement, one Deirdre O’Brien, who, among other things, has been part of the retail experience right from the very start. So, while nothing is confirmed just yet because we can’t see the future, it sounds like they picked the perfect person to take the reins. As such, the company’s CEO, Tim Cook, weighed in on the transition and said positive things about the whole situation:
“Deirdre was part of the team that planned and launched Apple’s very first online and retail stores. She has been a part of Retail’s exciting expansion and every product launch since. She knows the value of the deep human connections that retail experiences make possible — and she knows this is where Apple shows its heart and soul.”
Moreover, O’Brien will not only be headlining Apple’s retail efforts, but also be retaining her role as the leader of the People division within the company as well. According to Cook, O’Brien’s experience with both will promote the core facet that “Apple inspires, connects and cares for employees”.
So, what’s next? We don’t know the details just yet, but Cook says the company will “elevate” the physical and digital storefront experience moving forward:
“As we look forward, finding new ways to elevate our in-store and online experiences, forging deeper relationships with the customers who love our products, I believe that our team, at every level, is the best in the business. I am grateful to Angela for all she’s done for Apple, and I’m looking forward to what Deirdre will bring to her new role.
To everyone in Retail, and our employees worldwide, thanks for all you do to help dreamers become doers, to expand human potential and to do the best work of our lives.”
The departure of Ahrendts was indeed sudden. However, it doesn’t mean everything Apple has built to this point in the retail space is going to come crumbling down. In fact, with O’Brien taking up the head position it sounds like there is a lot to be excited about. Plus, we all know there is still room for improvements at physical Apple stores. Personally, I’d like to make it easier to flag down an available employee. Let’s also find a way, some way, to reduce those lines.
How would you like to see Apple’s physical retail experience change?