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Apple Taps Fashion Vet For Top Retail Post

Cupertino, Calif. Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts has been tapped by Apple to run its retail and online stores as senior VP.

The fashion industry veteran will assume the post this spring, filling an extended vacancy following last year’s departure of former Dixons CEO John Browett after six months on the job.

Browett in turn was brought in to succeed Ron Johnson, the architect of the Apple Store format, who left in November 2011 for an ill-fated turn-around attempt at JCPenney. He was dismissed as CEO April.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has supervised the retail operation since Browett’s exit one year ago this month.

In her newly created role, Ahrendts will oversee the strategic direction, expansion and operation of Apple’s brick-and-mortar and online stores, reporting directly to Cook.

 “I am thrilled that Angela will be joining our team,” Cook said in a statement. “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.”

At Burberry Ahrendts led the company through a period of global growth, nearly tripling revenues to over $3 billion during her seven-year tenure. Before that she was executive VP at Liz Claiborne, and served as president of Donna Karan International.