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Ahrendts Taking Big Bite Out Of Apple

Cupertino, Calif. — Apple’s new retail and online stores senior VP Angela Ahrendts will be amply rewarded for leaving her CEO slot at Burberry this month.

According to an SEC filing, Ahrendts is slated to receive about $9.8 million in Apple shares just one month after her May 1 start date, and will receive the balance of her stock options, valued at $58 million, over the next four years.

Most of the bonuses are not tied to performance, the filing shows.

Ahrendts announced her departure from Burberrry last October. She tripled revenues to $3 billion during her seven-year tenure with the British luxury fashion house, and before that served as executive VP at Liz Claiborne and president of Donna Karan International.

She was named honorary dame commander of the British Empire last month, and at 53 is now the highest-paid female executive at a public U.S. company according to compensation research firm Equilar. 

In her new role, Ahrendts assumes responsibility for the operation, expansion and strategic direction of Apple’s 424 worldwide stores and websites, reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Cook has supervised the retail business for the past year and a half, following the dismissal of John Browett, formerly CEO of Dixons, after six months on the job.

Browett succeeded Ron Johnson, widely lauded as the architect of the Apple Store format, who left in 2011 for an ill-fated stint as JCPenney’s CEO.