In October, Angela Ahrendts, Burberry's CEO of eight years, made an announcement that made waves in both the worlds of fashion and tech: She would be leaving her post at the British label to join the team at Apple, with Christopher Bailey succeeding her. Ahrendts made the decision to depart on a very high note -- the brand had just raked in a record-breaking $1.5 billion in earnings in the first half of 2013. Under her leadership, Burberry flourished and underwent a massive branding overhaul, and the house is now beloved by editors, luxury buyers and celebrities alike (Sienna Miller and Emma Watson have starred in the company's ad campaigns).
As she prepares to enter her new role as senior vice president of retail and online stores over at Apple, Ahrendts took to her LinkedIn account to share some of her thoughts on the transition and to reflect on her fulfilling years at Burberry. While some folks were distraught by the announcement of her departure -- Burberry's stock prices fell over eight percent the morning after she shared the news -- she's confident that Burberry is in very good hands. "When we announced recently that Christopher Bailey would succeed me at Burberry…I felt such peace. Christopher is one of the sector’s greatest visionaries and Burberry’s natural next leader,” she wrote.
Ahrendts also sings the praises of Burberry's company culture, which she in part helped to create. She and her team took great care to hire and foster only the best talent, and when it came time for her to move on, she trusted that Bailey and his senior staff would make the transition seamless. One of the company's highest values is open communication, which is one of the main reasons she cared so deeply about a smooth transition in the leadership. She said:
For me Burberry’s true success is measured not by financial growth or brand momentum, but by something much more human: one of the most connected, creative and compassionate cultures in the world today, steeped in common values and beliefs, and united around a shared vision. Today, I can honestly say that Burberry is the company I had always dreamed of working for.
While her years at Burberry made for "the most rewarding period of [her] professional life," we cannot wait to see what she brings to Apple in the coming years.