Angela Ahrendts Departing Apple in April, Deirdre O'Brien to Oversee Retail and People

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. imnotthewalrus macrumors regular

    imnotthewalrus

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    #376
    --- Post Merged, Feb 6, 2019 ---
    As a former Apple retail employee (creative) who began at the height of the Steve Jobs era, my observation is that Angela’s era ushered in the final nail in the coffin of what was once known as “the culture” of Apple and entered in the era of an elitist atmosphere that stranded many Apple enthusiasts who just couldn’t keep up with the prices. Also the absolute ruin of the service departments, both Creatives (end of “one to one” and original workshops) and the Genius Bar (in house repairs and other solutions) IMHO. I’m personally thrilled to see her go.
     
  2. Docj581 macrumors newbie

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    #377
    And the Today at Apple seems to have completely displaced the more practical tutorials teaching people how to do at least the basics on their expensive products. I convinced many of my older friends to buy an Apple product, even though it was more expensive because the instruction and service was so good.
     
  3. Zwhaler, Feb 6, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019

    Zwhaler macrumors 604

    Zwhaler

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    #378
    True, but that's largely a result of the market's response to Apple's sudden price increases. How many of those promotions were running for the iPhone X when it came out? I remember there weren't any when I was looking during Christmas 2017. That phone was the sweet spot for ultra-premium smartphones (non-jewlery or designer niche), but Apple felt compelled to raise the bar even higher with the top end some $300 higher than it was 6 months ago. No wonder they're running so many carrier promotions.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 6, 2019 ---
    I can relate. It is a little sad when I walk into the store and I can tell the "Specialists" barely know anything about Apple and are just adapting to a new sales job just like any other. I don't personally have a problem with that, but it's a bit pretentious to act like they're specialists when they're pretty much as entry level as they get, no? It just makes me miss the old days of Apple, but I'm not dwelling on it.
     
  4. Zenithal macrumors 604

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    #379
    https://www.theverge.com/circuitbre...l-discount-300-dollar-trade-in-unlimited-plan

    TMO offered trade ins going down to $100 on very old iPhone 5 models using their cycled payments and Sam's Club was giving out $250 gift cards for all iPhone purchases. Sprint had their own deal but no one uses Sprint unless forced to.
     
  5. Zwhaler macrumors 604

    Zwhaler

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    #380
    That's cool, it's not exactly a sale and there was nothing to be found on AT&T when I was looking, but cool nonetheless.
     
  6. Zenithal macrumors 604

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    Sep 10, 2009
    #381
    Nothing is truly a sale. Apple isn't stupid enough to run a sale on their flagship phone a month or two into introducing it. Then again, Apple is stupid in other ways. Yes, but with ATT you now have 5G.

    That was tough to type while trying to stifle my laughter.
     
  7. Elian_Gonzalez macrumors member

    Elian_Gonzalez

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    #382
    Yep, as expected: scores and scores of techie boys, bereft of complaining about producer Kathleen Kennedy, now emerging from hibernation to rag on Angela Ahrendts for having either done "nothing" or personally ruined Apple for them.

    What a surprise.
     
  8. techno-Zen macrumors 6502a

    techno-Zen

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    #383
    Weird...
     
  9. steammachin3 macrumors newbie

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    #384
    I agreed with this so much I made an account today to give you the thumbs up.
     
  10. ksec macrumors 6502a

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    #385
    Just to give some numbers. Under her Watch.

    Apple has roughly 460 Stores in 2015. Opening at anywhere between 20 - 40 store per year since 2005. Apple active devices, has grown form anywhere between 800M to 1.4B during those 4 years. Roughly 150M increase every year.

    Guess how many store were opened under her watch? 50. Most of those opened during 2015 and 2016 started before she took the job. So under her tenure she manage to open ~40 Stores, and Apple grew 600M Active Devices usage, that is roughly double the size of US population.

    Not only that, that cut down Genius Bar. Majority of those Apple store were in US, so even without Genius Bar you still get some decent amount of Services. But outside of US, the user and Apple Store contention Ratio is so high that create a unpleasant experience. And without Genius Bar it make things worst.

    I am extremely unhappy with Tim Cook's performance for judging people. First the Dixon CEO to Retail which was utter disaster. Tim got sold to Apple Music "Next Song" idea from Iovine. Then he got sold into Luxury Retail idea from Angela.
     
  11. Abazigal macrumors G4

    Abazigal

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    #386
    According to the vogue article, Apple retail employee retention appears to be near 90%. It’s safe to say that she wasn’t fired due to deceased worker morale in the very least.
     
  12. Adam Warlock macrumors regular

    Adam Warlock

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    #387
    Is it not OK to criticize wahmen? Er, I mean women. What exactly is it about Kennedy or Ahrendts that places them above reproach?
     
  13. Abazigal macrumors G4

    Abazigal

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    #388
    If it makes you feel better, they pretty much rag on anything Apple. So it's not because they are being sexist or anything.
     
  14. Veinticinco, Feb 7, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019

    Veinticinco macrumors 6502a

    Veinticinco

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    #389
    She didn’t just get compensation from walking away from her Burberry payout ($38m). No no, Apple also gave her another $30m of stock as a (desperate) golden hello before she’d even strapped on her Gold Edition watch. Not to mention a salary higher than the CEO. Excuse me for asking the obvious, but where was her motivation for meaningful performance or effecting positive change in leading the customer facing side of the company? She gave it a crack and failed miserably positioning the Apple Watch as a fashion item (which very quickly switched to a health tracker) and has been dialling it in ever since, counting down the days to freedom and enough money to secure her family for generations. What a complete and utter farce.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 7, 2019 ---
    Youre right, he won’t as he surely wasn’t the only one who signed off on the deal.

    I have no doubt there were probably internal moves to put various other tempting roles in front of her nose but she sat back safe and secure in the knowledge of her contract, and how this would all play out. Apple’s very own Winston Bogarde.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 7, 2019 ---
    Is it? Or is just that retail sector is in such a dire situation in general (at least here in Europe) that demotivated and demoralised employees figure better the devil they know. Especially when there’s no real driver at the leadership wheel.
     
  15. I7guy macrumors P6

    I7guy

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    #390
    Yep, conjectures are fun. Aren’t they?
     
  16. Carnegie macrumors 6502

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    #391
    No, Ms. Ahrendts didn't get a salary higher than Mr. Cooks'. Her salary was considerably lower than his, as was her total compensation.

    As for the RSU award she got when she joined Apple: Yes, part of that was to make up for what she was giving up by leaving Burberry. Part of it amounted to the ongoing (equity) compensation which Apple SVPs get. It's not like she got it all when she started working for Apple. She got it over a period of time. Other Apple SVPs had RSU awards which had previously been granted and which, in effect, would be compensating them for the work they'd be doing over the next few years. If a new SVP came in from outside Apple, they wouldn't have those already granted RSUs which would make up the bulk of their compensation for the first few years. So, they would need to be given an initial RSU award, which vested over time, to provide them with comparable compensation for their first few years. (But they'd still have to do the job in order to get that compensation.) The RSU awards which Apple awards annually to SVPs don't start vesting for about 2-1/2 years.

    Ms. Ahrendts' compensation during the time she's been with Apple has been in line with what all Apple SVPs get. The timing of their respective hirings or promotions to SVP aside, they all get essentially the same compensation packages.
     
  17. felixen macrumors 6502a

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    #392
    Aren't Apple Stores are in the middle of a massive changeover with workshops and events + expansion with cafe style areas? In that case, I can't say I agree with the people who say she didn't do anything.
     
  18. Abazigal macrumors G4

    Abazigal

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    #393
    For all the criticism here, I still believe that Angela made a positive difference at Apple overall. Whether that impact is worth the huge signing bonus she received is up for debate though.

    For one, she oversaw the integration of Apple's online and physical store presence. I feel this is a very significant accomplishment, and one that allows Apple to be well-positioned for 2019 and beyond.

    Second, she rethought the entire Apple store experience, and turned it into a place where people could experience Apple, rather than simply being a place to get customer service or purchase product. Again, I see from the comments here that not many care for this. Some hate it even, but I believe it's something that is even more important in today's day and age. When you are able to shop for the apple products you need online, what reason is there left to visit a physical store, if not for the experience?

    Third, it seems that she has been working hard to streamline customer service bottlenecks in the stores.

    Next, that Tim Cook choose to promote someone internally rather than hire externally shows that he doesn't think there is any amiss with Apple's current retail strategy. Moving forward, I doubt that Apple is going to rethink or redesign what Angela has already done. It will mostly be refining her existing vision and execution.

    Lastly, the interview carried out by Vogue would likely have to go through Tim Cook's approval in the first place, and this isn't something he would have green-lighted if she was leaving under less than amiable circumstances. It stands to reason that Angela is leaving simply because she feels it is time for her to move on, not that she is being forced out the way Scott Forstall was. The timing seems suspect, but it's likely more driven by her stock options maturing in April than any other conspiracy.

    Some people blame Angela for missing sales. Let's be honest. The bulk of Apple Stores are still found in the US. You cannot blame retail for not selling enough iPhones in China to the point where it significantly impacted Apple's quarterly earnings. These are macroeconomic factors and beyond the ability of any one person to foresee, much less manage. As was mentioned earlier, successfully merging both Apple's online and physical retail presence actually frees the Apple Stores from the burden of having to actually sell products. They can focus on properly conveying the full Apple experience, because the customer can always buy the product online at a later date if he feels so inclined; he doesn't have to do so at the store right away. To put it bluntly, maximising hardware sales likely isn't part of Angela's KPI.

    So to sum it all up, Angela inherited the Apple Stores when it was suffering from a dearth of leadership, stabilised the entire situation, significantly increased the hiring of retail staff, oversaw numerous initiatives (detailed above), and positioned Apple retail employees as the most crucial ingredient for retail success. I have reason to believe that under her, morale has never been higher at Apple Stores, and you can't have that without a great leader.

    Credit where credit is due.
     
  19. cmaier macrumors G4

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    #394
    No, there are no cafe-style areas.
     
  20. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

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    #395
    IMHO, Ahrendts made the retail experience worst for customers and employees. Glad that she is gone and someone with core Apple rots is at the wheel.
     
  21. techno-Zen macrumors 6502a

    techno-Zen

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    #396
    Who would want to leave Apple though? I don't think retention means much.. also 90% isn't amazing by any means.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 7, 2019 ---
    I honestly think she is behind removing the glowing apple logo for the shiny stainless logo because it would look better in the store in her view.

    Purely my own speculation
     
  22. Defthand macrumors 6502a

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    #397
    Excellent points. You're right that Jobs wasn't a lousy CEO. That was my adjective and I was considering the textbook expectations of CEOs. I changed my post to say unconventional CEO.

    There's something common about Cook's promotion. Have you noticed that Presidents and charismatic CEOs often select unlike and unremarkable second-in-commands? I wonder if they are subconsciously—or consciously—trying to ensure their legacy is not easily repeated?
     
  23. I7guy macrumors P6

    I7guy

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    #398
    I agree cooks promotion was common, however cook is as every bit unconventional as jobs.

    Jobs may not have been able to lead Apple to the juggernaut it is today and cook may not have been able to rescue apple. However each did what they were supposed to do.
     
  24. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #399
    I've never liked the Apple store and she didn't change that but I do like the changes to the website that happened under her watch
     
  25. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3

    AppleScruff1

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    #400
    And the masses drink Apple’s.
     

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