Some Genius Bars are being repurposed for the holidays, but other changes loom

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As they’ve done in years’ past, some Apple retail stores this holiday season will repurpose the Genius Bar for additional product space, pick-ups, or other uses as Apple attempts to make the shopping experience for customers as smooth as possible, 9to5Mac has learned.

The repurposing for the holidays will only arrive in some stores depending on needs and traffic, with some stores scheduled to use the Genius Bar area to complete express sales and hold products scheduled for pick-up. Other changes, however, will go beyond the holidays as the stores under new retail chief Angela Ahrendts evolve to better deal with increased foot traffic. Read more

Apple adds key Vice Presidents, more diversity to executive leadership page

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Apple today has expanded its Executive Leadership Team to include notable Apple Vice Presidents. The team shown on Apple’s official PR Bios website now includes Vice President of Special Projects Paul Deneve, Vice President of of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson, Vice President and Dean of Apple University Joel Podolny, Vice President of Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji, and Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources Denise Young Smith.

Interestingly, each of these positions is fairly new to Apple: Deneve joined from Yves Saint Laurent last year, Lisa Jackson moved over from the EPA last year, Joel Podolny went full-time on Apple University earlier this year, Young Smith was promoted to head of HR earlier this year, and Srouji became head of Hardware Technologies upon Bob Mansfield’s (second) role reduction last year

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Apple hires Angela Ahrendts’ confidant & former Nike exec to lead social media efforts

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Apple is giving its social media department a significant shot in the arm this week. The Cupertino-based company has hired Musa Tariq, the former social media chief for both Nike and Burberry. At Nike, Tariq ran general social media marketing as well as social media partnerships with athletes across all Nike product platforms, and at Burberry he led “strategy and innovation” for social media…

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Angela Ahrendts continues debut tour with employee Q&A, New York City Apple Store visits

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New Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts is continuing her Apple debut tour this week. The former Burberry Chief Executive Officer today toured through Apple’s many stores in the New York City area and she also held a question-and-answer session with select Apple Retail Store managers earlier this week week. Ahrendts today sent a memo with a transcript of some of the Q&A points to all retail employees, and a full copy of that transcript, sent in by a source, is below:

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Angela Ahrendts’ first memo to Apple Retail employees: ‘together we will continue to enrich lives and communities’

Burberry Group Plc CEO Angela Ahrendts At The London Stock Exchange

After being on the job for approximately a month and a half, new Apple Senior VP of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts has sent her first memo to Apple Retail employees. In the memo, Ahrendts discusses Apple’s culture, her visits to stores thus far, and her plans for the future.

“I have spent most of my time getting to know and understand the many functions and teams in Cupertino, along with our short and long term initiatives. I was thrilled to meet many of you at stores in San Francisco and London this month, and I’m looking forward to Tokyo and the Omotesando opening,” Ahrendts said. “Every couple of weeks, we will be visiting stores across the world to see and learn what we do best and hear your thoughts about opportunities ahead,” she added.

We previously profiled Ahrendts plans for transforming Apple retail with a new end-to-end sales experience, mobile payment initiatives, and an increased emphasis on the Chinese consumer. Today’s memo from Ahrendts to employees reiterates many of these points… Read more

Angela Ahrendts’ plan for the future of Apple Retail: China emphasis, mobile payments, revamped experience

Ahrendts succeeds Jobs, Johnson, and Browett (Graphic by Michael Steeber)

When Ron Johnson finalized his decision to move from leading Apple’s retail strategy to become the Chief Executive Officer of J.C. Penney, the executive jumped in his car to drive to Steve Jobs’ home and notify the Apple co-founder in his living room of the decision. During his short car ride to Jobs’ Palo Alto home in the summer of 2011, Johnson likely thought about how he would explain his choice. But what Johnson likely did not imagine is that it would take nearly three years for Apple to find a true new leader for the stores the duo created.

In one of current Apple CEO Tim Cook’s first major missteps, the long-time operations maestro hired John Browett, formerly of Dixons, to run retail. Browett’s hire was immediately met with skepticism from Apple customers and retail employees, but Cook defended the hire and called the British executive the “best [choice] by far” to run Apple’s retail division. In the six months that he ran retail, Browett cut back on employee hours, initiated layoffs, and fell out culturally with the rest of the Apple executive team.

John Browett visiting Apple Store

Alongside Scott Forstall, Browett was ejected from the Cupertino-based company, leaving Tim Cook and head-hunting firm Egon Zehnder, again, with the tall task of finding a suitable replacement for Ron Johnson. As the man who ran Dixons, the United Kingdom equivalent to Best Buy, Browett was in many ways built in the image of Johnson. Johnson ran Apple Retail for nearly a decade, and before that he was an executive at both Target and Mervyns. But unlike Browett, Johnson fit into Apple’s culture and was close with both Jobs and Cook throughout his tenure.

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Angela Ahrendts officially starts role as Apple’s new Senior VP of Retail and Online Stores

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Angela Ahrendts has officially taken the reins of Apple’s new Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores. Ahrendts’s last day as the CEO of Burberry was yesterday, and Apple’s website has been updated to reflect Ahrendts beginning her work at Apple today. Her biography, which can be found on Apple’s executive leadership website, explains her role at Apple:

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Angela Ahrendts says Burberry management transition ‘well underway’ as reports claim delay

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After becoming a Dame of the British Empire in a ‘low key’ ceremony earlier this month, rumor had it that Apple’s new retail chief Angela Ahrendts would be leaving her CEO position at Burberry this month. Apple has never confirmed as much apart from saying Ahrendts would start in the spring back in its original announcement, but today reports claim Ahrendts might stick around at Burberry a little longer. The Guardian reports that while Ahrendts is free to leave after serving her 6 months notice and helping transition in a new CEO, she could earn as much as an £8m or $13.5m bonus if she stays at Burberry through June: Read more

Apple SVP Angela Ahrendts becomes ‘Dame of the British Empire’ today, leaves Burberry as early as this month

Burberry Group Plc CEO Angela Ahrendts At The London Stock Exchange

Angela Ahrendts, soon to be ex-CEO of Burberry, is to become a dame today according to the Daily Mail. The retail magnate will become a Dame of the British Empire in a ‘low key’ ceremony according to the British paper, for her contributions to business.

The Queen will not be in attendance, apparently. The government’s business secretary Vince Cable will instead lead proceedings. According to the Daily Mail, Cable will congratulate Ahrendts for her restoration of the Burberry brand. The Mail also believes that Ahrendts will join Apple this month.

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Apple’s new retail boss Angela Ahrendts lays out transition philosophy, follows her instincts

Burberry Group Plc CEO Angela Ahrendts At The London Stock Exchange

Apple’s new senior vice president of retail Angela Ahrendts won’t be taking up the newly created position officially until Spring 2014, but in the meantime Ahrendts has already started the process of transitioning to a new CEO at Burberry. In a blog post on LinkedIn, Ahrendts talks in length about the following her intuition when deciding to take a new job at Apple, much like she had when first joining Burberry, and also outlines her plans for transitioning to new leadership. If you’ve ever heard Tim Cook talk about moving to Apple, ‘following instincts’ will definitely seem like a theme.

And as I look forward to what will define the next generation, I believe it is imperative that great companies add greater social value – the larger the company, the larger the obligation.

Ahrendts notes that the company has started transitioning to new leadership at Burberry in recent weeks and also describes some of her business philosophies in the process: Read more

Apple’s new head of retail Angela Ahrendts is Fortune’s #4 Businessperson of the Year

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Fortune is out today with its annual Businessperson of the Year list and this time around a couple notable Apple connections have made the list. Coming in at #4 behind #1Elon Musk, activist investors, and Tencent CEO ‘Pony’ Ma Huateng, is Apple’s recently hired Head of Retail, Burberry CEO Angela AhrendtsRead more

Apple Store visits continue to climb, though growth flattening

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Asymco’s Horace Dediu has put together a couple of charts showing that while the number of visitors to Apple’s retail stores continues to climb, the rate of growth is flattening off.

The underlying reason appears to be a slow-down in the rate at which Apple is opening new stores, as the average number of visitors per store has remained stable for the past three years …  Read more