Apple’s senior VP of retail Angela Ahrendts recently joined ABC Radio’s “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis” show to talk about her move from Burberry to Apple, working at a tech company without being a “techie,” and more…
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Ahrendts explained in the interview that, during her first conversation with Tim Cook about the retail president position, she opened about the fact that she wasn’t all that in-tune with the latest and greatest technology:
“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.'”
In preparation for her role at Apple, Ahrendts says she read about Steve Jobs’ early approach to Apple retail stores, taking note of his goal of creating an enriching retail experience. Ahrendts was drawn to Apple by its strong emphasis on company values.
“When he was hiring teams for the very first retail store 16 years ago, he told them their job was to enrich lives and that has so stuck in retail all these years.
“It’s business, but it’s also business for purpose,” she adds.
As for how she got her start in marketing, Ahrendts says she initially set out to be a designer, but one of her early professors advised her against that since she “wasn’t very talented from a design standpoint.”
“I had a professor my first year in say that I actually wasn’t very talented from a design standpoint, but I had a pretty strong opinion, so she called me a merchant,” Ahrendts said. “So that’s how I kind of ended up in merchandising and marketing.”
The Apple executive also talked about how she feels her tenure at Apple has been going so far, remarking that it’s incredible when things work out how you’d expect, but that nothing happens without learning a few lessons along the way:
“It’s incredible when things fall into place,” Ahrendts said. “I think there’s just lessons all along the way that you learn, and they make you stronger and better. And you have no idea that it was part of preparing you for what was next.”
Listen to Angela Ahrendts’ full interview in the latest episode of “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis” on Apple Podcasts.