Log In

Angela Ahrendts Edit Profile

executive

Ahrendts is an American businesswoman. The CEO of Burberry from 2006.

Background

The daughter of a former model, Ahrendts grew up in New Palestine, Indiana, where she dreamt of a big-time fashion career.

Education

Angela Ahrendts acquired her Merchandising and Marketing degree from Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, from where she also received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 2010.

After finishing at Indiana's Ball State University, she left for the east coast: "I graduated on a Friday, and on Saturday I was on a plane to New York." There, she discovered her talents were not as a designer but at recognising good designs and knowing which could be sold and at what price.

Career

She began her career with Donna Karan and then worked briefly at retailer Henri Bendel before joining Liz Claiborne in 1998 as vice-president of merchandising and design. She quickly rose through the ranks to oversee 22 brands with combined sales that account for 40% of Liz Claiborne's $4.6bn revenue.

At Burberry, she will have to overcome the problematic, chav-associated image it has acquired. One way is to expand in regions such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, where British hooligan associations have less resonance; another is to regain control of the brand as Gucci did after years of counterfeiting.

Angela Ahrendts held a series of senior positions over the past 20 years – at Donna Karan International, Henri Bendel, and Liz Claiborne. Became an executive director of Burberry Group in 2006, becoming chief executive officer the same year.

Interests

  • Writers

    Clayton Christensen The Harvard Business School professor and disruptive innovation guru has just co-authored a new book, How Will You Measure Your Life?

    Gary Hamel Most recently author of What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation. Ahrendts recently picked his brain over coffee.

    Jim Collins Bestselling author behind Good to Great and Built to Last, his most recent book, co-authored with Morten Hansen, is Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck—Why Some Thrive Despite Them All.

Connections

father:
Richard - entrepreneur

mother:
Jean - local model

Husband:
Gregg Ahrendts

son:
Jennings

1st daughter:
Sommer

2nd daughter:
Angelina