Angela Ahrendts Michael Hemy for BoF

Angela Ahrendts

Outgoing Chief Executive, Burberry

Alongside Christopher Bailey, she turned a stale British trenchcoat brand into a global fashion force by restructuring the business and focusing on digital innovation.

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United Kingdom Executives

Biography

Angela Ahrendts is one of the world’s most high-profile businesswomen and, in 2013, was the highest paid chief executive at a FTSE 100 company, a direct result of the commercial success enjoyed by Burberry since she joined the British brand in 2006, overseeing its emergence as one of the largest and most profitable luxury goods companies in the world.

Angela Ahrendts is set to exit her role as Burberry's chief executive officer in mid-2014 to join Apple as the company's new head of retail.

Upon joining Burberry, Ahrendts shut down 35 product categories, many featuring the widely recognisable Burberry check, as part of her efforts to recast the enterprise as an "inviting luxury company" after years of over-licensing and brand dilution.

Since then, she has overseen the launch of new product lines and the buyback of Burberry’s beauty licenses. She masterminded and managed the company’s retail roll-out into new markets and was an early proponent of the Internet, investing heavily in the company’s e-commerce capabilities, digital marketing presence and in-store technology.

Along the way, Ahrendts has strived to build what she dubs a “connected culture” at the company, not least by interacting directly with employees through dedicated instant messaging channel Burberry Chat. Ahrendts even brought in an anthropologist to study the company culture she helped create, so as to better understand and preserve it.

Career

  • Burberry
    Burberry

    Outgoing Chief Executive 2006 - Present, London, United Kingdom

  • Liz Claiborne
    Liz Claiborne

    Executive Vice President 1998 - 2006, New York, United States

  • Donna Karan
    Donna Karan

    President 1989 - 1996, New York, United States

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