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A Burberry shop in central London/AFP

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Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts resigns to join Apple

A Burberry shop in central London/AFP

A Burberry shop in central London/AFP

LONDON, Oct 15 – British luxury fashion group Burberry on Tuesday said its long-serving Chief Executive Officer Angela Ahrendts will step down next year to take up a new position with Apple.

The 53-year-old US national is to be replaced by Burberry’s Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey, who will retain his existing title alongside becoming the company’s CEO, according to a statement issued to the London Stock Exchange.

In a separate statement, US technology giant Apple said Ahrendts “will have oversight of the strategic direction, expansion and operation of both Apple retail and online stores”. She will in turn become a member of Apple’s executive team.

“I am thrilled that Angela will be joining our team,” said Apple chief executive Tim Cook.

“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.”

Ahrendts will have been chief executive of Burberry for about eight years by the time of her departure in 2014. The London-listed firm, famous for its trademark red, camel and black check design on clothes and handbags, has undergone huge expansion into emerging markets with Ahrendts at the helm.

“Burberry today announces that Angela Ahrendts will step down as chief executive officer by mid-2014 to take up a new position with Apple,” said the company statement .

“Christopher Bailey is to be appointed to the position of chief creative and chief executive officer. This follows nearly a decade during which Angela, Christopher and the senior executive team have transformed Burberry into a world leading digital luxury brand,” it added.

Her successor Bailey has been at Burberry since 2001 and chief creative officer for the past six years.

“This CEO transition is a natural progression and comes as Burberry reports yet another strong first half revenue performance,” group chairman John Peace said in Tuesday’s statement.

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