There’s been a great deal of buzz surrounding the anticipated arrival of Angela Ahrendts as the Senior VP of Retail & Online Stores at Apple last month. She comes with an amazing, and decidedly non-tech focused pedigree after years at the helm of UK fashion giant Burberry.
Apple’s only top-level female executive has already been busy bringing her vision of the future of Apple’s retail to her new company with a focus on China, mobile payments and the evolution of the Apple store experience.
Ahrendts also recently reached out via LinkedIn with a conversational post discussing her insights on “Starting Anew” at Apple. She’s disarmingly candid about her transition, likening Silicon Valley to a “country unto itself”.
While at Burberry, Ahrendts apparently placed great emphasis on communication throughout the company and the importance of building relationships within teams as part of an overall approach to improving customer experience and she’s obviously bringing the same approach to Apple.
Ahrendts comes across as approachable, backed with a clear drive and dedication to leading Apple’s retail growth. Her addition to Apple’s leadership seems to perfectly fit with a movement toward greater social engagement from the executives. It’s a continuation of the company’s evolution from the tight-lipped Steve Jobs era where silence was golden and the device king, toward a more rounded, human side of a company that increasingly delivers a holistic lifestyle ecosystem rather than just phones, computers and music players.
We certainly wish Ahrendts the best as she is a proven inspiration, and we’re excited to see what the future holds.
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The ever-evolving technology industry has been traditionally populated by males. And while women comprise 51 percent of the workforce, they only make up 26 percent of tech professionals. This lack of diversity limits the potential for innovation in this exciting and important field. OWC’s Women in Tech articles featured on the OWC Blog aim to examine what can be done to attract more women to the industry by highlighting prominent tech professionals, current events, and other relevant stories from within the tech sector. To gain new insight, it is imperative that we tap into the female working population. This progress can be made not only spreading the word and promoting the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (or STEM) fields from an early age to encourage interest and pursuit, but also by demonstrating that tech companies require alternative skill sets such as marketing, design and writing as well. We hope that you will share this series and help us advocate the complete utilization of this important resource.