Angela Ahrendts has been working for Apple as the Senior Vice President of retail and online stores for three weeks now and already has three major areas she wants to focus on, mobile payments, China and a revamped shopping experience.
Some of the organizational changes Ahrendts has made include moving Steve Cano from Vice President of Retail Stores to international. Wendy Beckman, head of retail in Europe, and Denny Tuza, China retail head, have been handed bigger responsibilities.
Apple’s increased growth in China is one of the critical areas that Ahrendts wants to focus on. According to Ahrendts, the tastes of Chinese consumers are critical across the globe. There are ten Apple stores currently in China, the company plans to have thirty by 2016.
The second area Ahrendts wants to focus on is mobile payment, Senior Vice President Eddy Cue and former online store Chief Jennifer Bailey are working on building a payment service for the iPhone. Ahrendts wants to improve payment experience in retail stores and Apple’s mobile app as well and focusing on the idea of blurring the lines between online and physical stores.
The third focus point is a revamped end-to-end Apple Store sales experience. “From the point in which a customer finds the product he or she wants to purchase, to how they discuss the product with Apple Store employees, to how they pay for the product.”
Ahrendts has already made several trips to Apple Stores and is described as “warm and genuine,” “honest,” and “passionate.”
She has already been holding conference calls with Apple Store managers from across the world. One retail manager describes the meeting, “even over the phone, you feel like you are speaking to her as she is sitting right next to you.”
She seems to be fitting in very well with the Apple culture and her colleagues at Apple believe she has the ability to take the company into the future.