Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts was honest with CEO Tim Cook during her job interview.
“He was kind of talking to me about what the role was, and I said, ‘I just want to be really honest with you, I’m not a techie,'” Ahrendts acknowledged in an interview with ABC Radio’s No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis. But ultimately, she took the job, after realizing that her as CEO of luxury fashion retailer Burberry would serve her well in her new role.
“I think there’s just lessons all along the way that you learn, and they make you stronger and better,” Ahrendts said. “And you have no idea that it was part of preparing you for what was next.”
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Ahrendts joined Apple in 2014 and immediately made her presence felt. In her role, she has presided over an design overhaul of many Apple Stores and continued to grow the company’s retail presence by adding stores. Ahrendts has also been instrumental in guiding Apple’s broader retail plans by redesigning stores and turning them into “town squares” where people can browse products, meet up with friends, and learn how to use Apple’s products. She has also been credited for playing an integral role in Apple’s growth.
But it wasn’t on her day-to-day job at Apple that Ahrendts focused during the interview. Rather, it was on the opportunity to try something new. She specifically cited Apple’s corporate culture and values as something that attracted her. She told ABC News that Apple does “business, but it’s also business for purpose.”
Ahrendts didn’t share, however, what her plans are for expanding Apple’s retail footprint.