Apple Retail’s Leadership Change
Source: Apple

Apple Retail’s Leadership Change

Angela Ahrendts, head of Apple Retail, is leaving the company in April after a five-year tenure.

While we view Apple’s physical retail experience as the best in tech, there’s room for improvement. The Genius Bar is a victim of its own success and wait times are lengthy; the time it takes to make a purchase in-store is also too long.

That said, we believe the move is more Ahrendts’ decision than it is Apple’s. She is 58 years old, she’s been financially successful, and she’s unlikely to be CEO.

Ahrendts will be replaced by Deirdre O’Brien who is currently Apple’s head of People. O’Brien will assume dual roles, running both Retail and People, reporting directly to Tim Cook. The combination of Retail and People makes sense to us, given Retail is Apple’s largest group by headcount accounting for just over half of all full-time equivalent employees. Based on O’Brien’s 30-year tenure at Apple, we expect her role to be permanent.

Ahrendts’ signature accomplishment has been the unification of Apple’s offline and online retail experiences; she also advanced the Today at Apple in-store experience. Apple Retail took big steps forward under her leadership, but we’re excited to see what’s next for Apple Retail under new leadership.

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Apple, Retail