Apple Hires Burberry CEO For Retail Push

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Apple ( AAPL) shares crept up 0.28% to $497.44 before market after the company announced that Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts will be joining the tech giant in a newly-created position.

In a statement released late on Monday, Apple said that Ahrendts will become a senior vice president and member of the tech giant's executive team, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. Ahrendts, who has won plaudits for her performance at Burberry's helm, will join Apple in the spring, according to the statement.

Ahrendts will oversee the strategic direction, expansion and operation of Apple's retail and online stores. The Burberry chief will bring a large dose of fashion flair to the iPhone maker, something which will prove key, particularly in markets such as China.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based firm has spent almost a year looking for a replacement for John Browett, whose short-lived tenure as Apple's retail chief ended in late October 2012.

"I am thrilled that Angela will be joining our team," said Cook, in Apple's statement. "She shares our values and our focus on innovation, and she places the same strong emphasis as we do on the customer experience. She has shown herself to be an extraordinary leader throughout her career and has a proven track record."

Prior to joining Burberry, Ahrendts served as executive vice president at Liz Clairborne and, earlier in her career, was president of Donna Karan International.

Burberry announced its first-half trading update early on Tuesday. For the first six months of 2013, the company's total revenue increased 14% to £1.03 billion ($1.64 billion), compared to the same period last year. Burberry's retail revenue rose 17% to £694 million ($1.1 billion)

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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