Apple’s retail boss Angela Ahrendts is to leave the company in April after five years with the technology giant. The former Burberry chief executive is stepping down for “new personal and professional pursuits”, the iPhone maker said.
Ms Ahrendts will be replaced by Deirdre O’Brien, whose current role as vice president of people will be expanded to cover retail.
During her time at Apple, Ms Ahrendts oversaw the opening and refurbishment of a number of flagship Apple retail stores which were designed to be “community spaces” rather than just places where the firm’s latest products could be bought.
“I want to thank Angela for inspiring and energizing our teams over the past five years,” Apple boss Tim Cook said.
“She has been a positive, transformative force, both for Apple’s stores and the communities they serve. We all wish her the very best as she begins a new chapter.”
Apple currently has more than 500 retail stores around the world.
The firm’s most recent financial results revealed an almost 5% drop in revenue, predominantly caused by a decline in iPhone sales – the company has since hinted it could lower prices to boost demand.
On her departure, Ms Ahrendts said: “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.
“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.”
Ms O’Brien, an Apple veteran of more than 30 years, called the role the “opportunity of a lifetime”.
“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,” she said.