June 12, 1960 |
New Palestine, Indiana, U.S.
|Alma mater||Ball State University|
|Occupation||Senior Vice President, Retail and Online Stores, Apple Inc.|
Angela Ahrendts, DBE (born June 12, 1960) is an American businesswoman. She was the CEO of Burberry between 2006 and 2014. Ahrendts left Burberry to join Apple Inc. as Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Sales in 2014. Ahrendts was ranked 49th in Forbes' 2014 list of the most powerful women in the world, 9th most powerful woman in the U.K. in the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour 100 Power List, and 29th in Fortune's 2014 list of the world's most powerful women in business.
Ahrendts, the third of six children, was born and raised in New Palestine, Indiana. Her father, Richard Ahrendts, was a businessman and her mother, Jean, was a homemaker. She attended New Palestine High School, where she was a varsity cheerleader. She earned an undergraduate degree in Merchandising and Marketing from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana in 1982. In 2010, she received an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Ball State.
Leaving Indiana on a one-way ticket the day after her college graduation, she arrived in New York City determined to make it in the fashion industry. After a series of positions including merchandising at bra maker Warnaco, Ahrendts joined Donna Karan International in 1989, working to develop the luxury brand internationally through both wholesale and licensing. In 1996 she was hired at Henri Bendel by Leslie Wexner to expand Bendel stores to 50 new markets, but the project was cancelled by the board of directors two years later.
In 1998, she joined Fifth & Pacific Companies as Vice President of Corporate Merchandising and Design. In 2001, she was promoted to Senior Vice President Corporate Merchandising and Group President, responsible for the merchandising of the groups 20 plus brands including Laundry by Shelli Segal, Lucky Brand Dungarees and the mens retail business of Liz Claiborne Inc. From 2002, she was promoted again to serve as Executive Vice President, with full responsibility for the complete line of Liz Claiborne products, services and development across both women's and men's lines.
Ahrendts joined Burberry in January 2006, and took up the position of CEO on July 1, 2006 replacing Rose Marie Bravo. Ahrendts mitigated the brand's decline in prestige by immediately limiting the number of clothing and accessories carrying the Burberry check pattern to 10%, minimizing the damage ubiquitous counterfeits had caused to sales. She also oversaw the buying out of the Spanish franchise which was then generating 20% of group revenues to stop its unfettered licensing. Ahrendts says she does not model her approach after any other fashion house, but looks to world class design as an influence including Apple Inc.. The company value rose during her tenure from £2 billion to over £7 billion. CNN Money reported that during 2012, she was the highest paid CEO in the UK, making $26.3 million.
On October 15, 2013, it was announced that Ahrendts will leave Burberry in Spring 2014 to join Apple Inc. as a member of its executive team as Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores, filling the spot vacated by John Browett in October 2012.
Ahrendts met her husband Gregg Couch in elementary school. They married in their 30s after a 17-year long-distance relationship. The couple have three children. When Ahrendts was working at Burberry, the family lived in a 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) home on an 8 acres (3.2 ha) plot west of London. Brought up a Methodist, she is still an active Christian.
Awards and memberships
- Awarded The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, a DBE for her services to British business (2013)
- Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group, Member (2010–present) 
- Fast Company Most Creative People in Business (2014) 
- Ranked #4 in Fortune's 2013 top people in business 
- Fortune’s Businesspeople of the Year (2010, 2011, 2013) 
- Financial Times Women of 2013 
- Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in the World (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
- Business of Fashion BoF 500 (2013) 
- In February 2013 she was assessed as the 9th most powerful woman in the United Kingdom by Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4.
- Financial Times Top 50 Women in World Business (2010, 2011)
- Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, Honorary Fellow (2011)
- St George’s Society of New York, Medal of Honor (2011)
- CNBC European Business Leader of the Future (2010)
- Oracle World Retail Awards, Outstanding Leadership Award (2010)
- Crain’s New York Rising Stars 40 under 40 (2000)
- Hass, Nancy (9 September 2010). "Earning Her Stripes". The Wall Street Journal.
- "Angela Ahrendts". Businessweek. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- Ina Fried (14 October 2013). "Apple Hires Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to Head its Retail Efforts". All Things Digital. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- Howard, Caroline. "The World's Most Powerful Women 2014". Forbes. Forbes.com LLC. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
- "The Power List 2013". BBC Radio 4 Women's Hour.
- Fairchild, Caroline; Leahey, Colleen; VanderMey, Ane (2014). "The Most Powerful Women in Business". Fortune. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Chu, Jeff (January 6, 2014). "CAN APPLE'S ANGELA AHRENDTS SPARK A RETAIL REVOLUTION?". The Fast Company. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
- Barnett, Maxwell (October 15, 2013). "Hoosier Angela Ahrendts Leaves Burberry for Apple". Indiana Monthly. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
- Petroff, Alanna (11 June 2013). "Top paid CEO in U.K. is an American woman". CNN Money. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- "Burberry chief Angela Ahrendts to join Apple". BBC News. 15 October 2013.
- Marfil, Lorelei (8 April 2014). "Angela Ahrendts Named Honorary DBE". WWD. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
- Hunsinger, Dana (October 15, 2013). "Angela Ahrendts, a shy girl from Indiana, lands executive post at Apple". Indy Star. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
- Honorary Awards of the British Government
- Adamo, Marilyn; Leahey, Colleen (21 November 2013). "2013'S Top People In Business". Fortune.
- "2011 Businessperson of the Year". CNN.
- Arora, Rupali; Dunn, Catherine; Kowitt, Beth; Leahey, Colleen; Sellers, Patricia; Vandermey, Anne (6 February 2014). "The 50 Most Powerful Women in Business: Global edition Fortune's Most Powerful Women". CNN.
- Arora, Rupali (10 October 2013). "Most Powerful Women - The International Power 50". CNN.
- "50 Most Powerful Women in Business 2012: The Global 50 - FORTUNE on CNNMoney.com". CNN.
- BBC Radio 4, Woman's Hour Power list
- Angela Ahrendts at Apple
- World Business Forum 2011—featured speaker Angela Ahrendts
- Angela Ahrendts Video produced by Makers: Women Who Make America
- Angela Ahrendts on Twitter