In a shock announcement today, Apple has confirmed Angela Ahrendts will be leaving the company in April, with Deirdre O’Brien “taking on new responsibilities for Apple’s retail and online stores” as Senior Vice President of Retail + People.
The move will see the role of Senior Vice President of Retail be merged with O’Brien’s current position as Senior Vice President of People, with the 30-year Apple veteran overseeing all people-related functions within the company, including employee relations and experience and the connection between customers and Apple, notes the company.
O’Brien is soon take control of Apple’s more than 35 online stores around the world and 506 retail locations.
At Apple, we believe our soul is our people, and Deirdre understands the qualities and strengths of our team better than anyone, said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. – For more than three decades, she has helped keep Apple focused on serving customers and enriching lives. She’s an exceptional leader and she’s been a vital partner to our retail teams around the world since the very beginning. I am thrilled to work alongside Deirdre in her new role, and I know our 70,000 retail employees will be, too.
Within the statement shared on Tuesday, Apple said Ahrendts would step-down from her role in the company for “new personal and professional pursuits,” adding thanks for her work over the past five years and best wishes “as she begins a new chapter.”
Angela Ahrendts plans to depart Apple in April for new personal and professional pursuits. – I want to thank Angela for inspiring and energizing our teams over the past five years, said Tim Cook. “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.
Ahrendts, who has been with the company for five years was widely rumored to be next in line to become Apple CEO as and when Tim Cook steps down from the position. It’s unknown what Ahrendts will do once she leaves the company, and if she will return to her previous employers Burberry, Liz Claiborne or Donna Karan.
Deirdre O’Brien said she is looking forward to working with Apple’s retail teams moving forward.
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, said Deirdre O’Brien, senior vice president of Retail + People. – It is the opportunity of a lifetime to work with, and learn from, such a talented, diverse and imaginative team. I am looking forward to this journey, and to continuing the important work of the People team in supporting all of Apple’s amazing employees.
Angela will leave a lasting mark on Apple as the main driving force behind the global renovation of the company’s next-generation retail stores around the world.