Apple appoints 30 year veteran at the company, Deirdre O’Brien to take on new responsibilities for its retail and online stores as senior vice president of Retail + People, reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook.
This change takes place after Angela Ahrendts who lead the division for 5 years will depart the company April for new personal and professional pursuits. Deirdre in her expanded role, will manage the company’s global retail reach including the 70,000 people working in these stores. Her responsibility involves talent development and Apple University, recruiting, employee relations and experience, business partnership, benefits, compensation, and inclusion and diversity.
“At Apple, we believe our soul is our people, and Deirdre understands the qualities and strengths of our team better than anyone,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. Apple operates 35 online stores and 506 retail stores on five continents. Retail has played a pivotal role in the expansion of its products, opening of Apple Stores has become strategic and often seen as an iconic architectural contribution to a city.
Things are cut out for the new SVP, Apple is seeing waning iPhone sales and looming trade disruption with China where sales were on the rise until recently. Deidre will have to look at opening more stores outside US and in particular promising countries like India and Southeast Asia.