October 15, 2013
Vijaya Prasad

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The Devil Wears Apple


Elle Woods: This is going to be just like senior year only funner!
(sure, that’s the reputation Harvard Law School likes to encourage)

Apple has enjoyed the cool factor for a while now – more expensive than its competition yet with a large market share, a company known for innovating, and one the media has loved.

From Elle Woods’ orange laptop back  in 2001’s Legally Blond to the information being IN the computer in Zoolander, Apple is known for standing out not blending in.

Back in July, Mashable and Bloomberg reported that Yves Saint Laurent’s CEO, Paul Deneve, joined Apple as  VP of “special projects,” a position in which he will report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Perhaps its history being made as Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry is joining Apple as Senior Vice President.

What’s the appeal for these fashion house connoisseurs to leave the glamour of YSL and Burberry for Cupertino? Besides the fact that the Bay area is a beautiful place to live, my guess is an opportunity to reach a larger audience have a bigger influence. More people spend 200-300 on an iphone than on a Burberry scarf or on YSL shoes.

Tim Cook had very nice things to say about his latest hire, the full text of an internal memo to employees was posted on 9to5mac:


I am thrilled to announce that Angela Ahrendts will be joining Apple as a senior vice president and member of our executive team, reporting directly to me. Angela is currently the CEO of Burberry.

She will lead both our retail and online teams. I have wanted one person to lead both of these teams for some time because I believe it will better serve our customers, but I had never met anyone whom I felt confident could lead both until I met Angela. We met for the first time last January, and I knew in that meeting that I wanted her to join Apple. We’ve gotten to know each other over the past several months and I’ve left each conversation even more impressed.

She shares our values and our focus on innovation. She places the same strong emphasis as we do on the customer experience. She cares deeply about people and embraces our view that our most important resource and our soul is our people. She believes in enriching the lives of others and she is wicked smart. Angela has shown herself to be an extraordinary leader throughout her career and has a proven track record. She led Burberry through a period of phenomenal growth with a focus on brand, culture, core values and the power of positive energy.

Angela will need to focus over the coming months on transitioning her current role at Burberry and will then join Apple in the spring. I am sure as all of you meet her, you will see why I am so excited that she is joining our executive team. I’d like to add a special thanks to all of our retail leaders. Your strength, talent and leadership afforded me the luxury of taking the time to perform an exhaustive search to find the best person in the world for this role.


Wearable fashion is allegedly the next big thing, Apples been rumoured to be working on a watch. Let’s not forget that they made the white headphones synonymous with cool.

Is a phone that matches your high heels and clutch next? I wouldn’t be surprised.

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