2014 Hot 20: Apple's Angela Ahrendts, the Retail Genius

By

Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores at Apple / age 54


When Angela Ahrendts became Chief Executive Officer of Burberry in 2006, she ditched the luxury brand’s ubiquitous plaid—once a highly coveted textile, it was suffering from overexposure and losses overseas due to counterfeiting. During her eight-year tenure, in the company’s biggest turnaround ever, she tripled Burberry’s value. She became Britain’s highest paid CEO, and she was awarded the title of Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Pretty impressive for someone from an Indiana town, population 725. In May, Ahrendts stepped in to fill an executive position at Apple that had been vacant for almost two years, and she’s expected to exhibit the same business savvy there, revitalizing Apple’s retail businesses, both online and in brick-and-mortar stores, and expanding the company’s footprint in Asia, where there are currently more Burberry stores than Apple stores. She’s a refreshing dose of girl power, proving that high fashion can do high tech.

Each October, we’re presented with the biggest quandary of the year: Narrowing down the Bay Area’s abundance of stellar luminaries to an exclusive selection of trailblazers for our annual Hot 20 list. After weeks of review and all-out debate among our editors, this year’s round-up comprises the most energizing influencers of our time. You’ll meet a pioneer of electric cars, a branding prophet, a major league all-star, and a Stanford dropout-turned-biotech virtuoso. Best of all, there’s more awesomeness where these came from. See them all here

This article was published in 7x7's October 2014 issue. Click here to subscribe.

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