- Angela Ahrendts grew Burberry’s brand as its CEO before becoming Apple‘s senior vice president of retail and online stores in 2014.
- She is Apple’s highest-paid employee, making $24.2 million in 2017.
- Throughout her career, she says she has been guided by core values like compassion, humility, and ambition.
Angela Ahrendts had a wildly successful career in fashion before becoming Apple’s highest-paid employee. But, in a 2010 commencement address she gave at her alma mater, Ball State University, she said she hadn’t discovered the secret to her success until she was asked to give the speech.
“This speech-writing journey forced me to stop and reflect, in a way I haven’t done in years,” she said.
She said that in the months before the speech, she realized her success could be traced back to her character and core values — compassion, humility, ambition, and intuition — a discovery that Ahrendts admitted “only took me 20 years of youth, 30 years of experience, and five months of reflecting to discover.”
Rising quickly through the fashion world
Ahrendts grew up in New Palestine, Indiana, with a passion for design and fashion. After college, she moved to New York, where she quickly worked her way up in the fashion world, eventually becoming the president of Donna Karan International and executive vice president of Liz Claiborne before finding her way to Burberry.
She took the CEO position in 2006 and spent the next eight years rehabilitating the clothing brand’s image. Her professional life was going as well as she could imagine when Apple CEO Tim Cook gave her a call, according to Fortune. He was looking for someone to lead Apple’s retail operation.
“I did not expect to be moved by the man, and I left and I thought, ‘Ohhhhh! My life was perfect. Aaargh, why, why, why?'” Read More Here