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In email to employees, Tim Cook calls Angela Ahrendts "wicked smart"

NRF (Angela Ahrendts, the CEO of Burberry, speaks at the National Retail Federation's annual convention, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 201

After a search that took nearly a year, Apple announced today that Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts will be joining Apple this spring, where she will take on the role of senior VP of Retail and Online Stores.

Earlier today, Tim Cook sent out a company-wide email announcing the hire and praising Ahrendts as being the "best person in the world for this role."

9to5Mac was able to get its hands on the email, which reads:

Team, I am thrilled to announce that Angela Ahrendts will be joining Apple as a senior vice president and member of our executive team, reporting directly to me. Angela is currently the CEO of Burberry.

She will lead both our retail and online teams. I have wanted one person to lead both of these teams for some time because I believe it will better serve our customers, but I had never met anyone whom I felt confident could lead both until I met Angela. We met for the first time last January, and I knew in that meeting that I wanted her to join Apple. We've gotten to know each other over the past several months and I've left each conversation even more impressed.

She shares our values and our focus on innovation. She places the same strong emphasis as we do on the customer experience. She cares deeply about people and embraces our view that our most important resource and our soul is our people. She believes in enriching the lives of others and she is wicked smart. Angela has shown herself to be an extraordinary leader throughout her career and has a proven track record. She led Burberry through a period of phenomenal growth with a focus on brand, culture, core values and the power of positive energy.

Angela will need to focus over the coming months on transitioning her current role at Burberry and will then join Apple in the spring. I am sure as all of you meet her, you will see why I am so excited that she is joining our executive team. I'd like to add a special thanks to all of our retail leaders. Your strength, talent and leadership afforded me the luxury of taking the time to perform an exhaustive search to find the best person in the world for this role.

Tim

Also a fan of the hire is Ron Johnson, Apple's first retail executive, who is largely responsible for transforming Apple retail into the commercial success it is today.

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