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News: Angela Ahrendts to Leave Apple in April, Deirdre O’Brien Promoted to SVP of Retail + People

by on February 6, 2019

This was a bit of surprising news to see yesterday, but there has been a bit of a change in Apple’s retail area. Senior Vice President of Retail Angela Ahrendts will be leaving in April and Deirdre O’Brien will be adding retail to her responsibilities, as well as a promotion to senior vice president. She will report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple today announced that Deirdre O’Brien is taking on new responsibilities for Apple’s retail and online stores in an expanded role as senior vice president of Retail + People, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. After five transformative years leading the company’s retail and online stores, Angela Ahrendts plans to depart Apple in April for new personal and professional pursuits.

In her expanded role, Deirdre will bring her three decades of Apple experience to lead the company’s global retail reach, focused on the connection between the customer and the people and processes that serve them. She will continue to lead the People team, overseeing all People-related functions, including talent development and Apple University, recruiting, employee relations and experience, business partnership, benefits, compensation, and inclusion and diversity.

The change does seem abrupt, especially with the feeling that Ahrendts would be around for awhile, but it sounds like the parting may have been amicable. As for changes, I hope some of the problem areas with Apple’s retail operations can be improved with the change. O’Brien brings a strong résumé and has been with Apple through some really tough times and some really great times, which should give her some good perspective.

This post has been filed in News