Angela Ahrendts at Apple: 3 Things to Know About the New AAPL Retail Chief

Apple (AAPL) has welcomed aboard Angela Ahrendts as the new AAPL retail chief, but what exactly do we know about her?

Angela Ahrendts

Angela Ahrendts

Ahrendts is helming Apple’s online and physical retail stores after her hire a few months ago.

By starting a blog post on LinkedIn called “Starting Anew,” one can see a gauge a few things about the new retail leader at Apple.

#3: She’s gonna get personal

The ex-Burberry boss came aboard Apple at a time when more of its execs are breaking from the Steve Jobs model of “silence is golden.”

This changes the game from a focus on the iTechnology itself to its human side — something we haven’t seen much before with Apple itself.

“Silicon Valley can feel like a country unto itself!” she gushed on LinkedIn — before adding more details about how she felt overwhelmed entering the world of technology. She discussed the “human nature to feel insecure” and tried a journal approach to social media: “Try to resist putting additional or undue pressure on yourself trying to learn it all from day one,” she writes, diary-style.

#2: She’s gonna move slow — at first anyway

Consider her Silicon Valley is a country comment, and you can see Angela Ahrendts knows what her weaknesses are.

Look for a long period of adjustment before any changes are made. And it’s likely why she’s approaching the job with more openness.

And here’s why, via Financial Times:

Of course, as a way to smooth her introduction after the disastrous six-month interlude of her predecessor, this is all very cleverly crafted. John Browett, former head of UK electronics chain Dixons, had started out with exactly the opposite approach, choosing to trust his retail gut by squeezing Apple’s outlets for efficiency gains. It backfired and quickly cost him his job.

#1: She’s not in it to make waves

Apple’s retail game is good. Ahrendts knows this and points out in her post that she’s not come aboard to shake up the system that’s already working so well.

In her blog post, she writes of starting a new job:

First: “Stay in your lane.” You’ve been hired because you bring a certain expertise to the team and the company. Try to resist putting additional or undue pressure on yourself trying to learn it all from day one.

At the same time, in recent months Apple’s retail sales and online store sales have begun to lag. Whether this is because consumers are just waiting for the iWatch and iPhone 6 to begin their purchasing again or Apple is starting to see signs of a problem will be her biggest challenge.

But her so-far smooth-handed approach to leadership shows she’s taking her time to learn the ropes before making any big waves.

AAPL stock is up 14% year to date.

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