Angela Ahrendts Shares Lessons She Learned While Working at Apple

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  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Former Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts left the company last month, and ahead of her departure, she sat down to share her thoughts on her experiences at Apple on LinkedIn's Hello Monday podcast.

    Apple hired Ahrendts in in 2014, after Apple CEO Tim Cook listened to her April 2013 TED talk on "the positive and transformative power of human energy." Cook told her after that moment that he knew she was "supposed to be [at Apple]," which was the "pivotal moment" in her decision to leave her role as Burberry CEO and join Apple's executive team. "He was so calm, and so deep and just the way that he said it..." she said. "I'd never had that in interaction with another person."

    Switching careers and leaving fashion for a tech company made her "incredibly insecure," and she says she spent first six months at Apple "fairly silent" because she wanted to listen to get her bearings and gain confidence in her role.
    According to Ahrendts, she learned three things during her time at Apple: never forget where you came from, move faster than you could ever fathom, and never forget that you have a greater responsibility.

    Ahrendts said when she joined Apple and went out to visit retail stores, she'd hear phrases like "Steve said our job was to enrich lives," and "Steve said this and wrote that." While she could have disregarded that, she didn't.
    On the second lesson, that things move quickly, Ahrendts said that customers expect leadership to change and adapt with the times and the current technology. Apple wanted retail leaders to "move fast, fast." "So we got rid of all the manuals, got rid of everything, started doing three minute YouTube," said Ahrendts. "That's how we united and aligned 70,000 [retail employees] around the world."

    Ahrendts' last lesson, on a greater responsibility to humanity, sounds like something that Apple CEO Tim Cook and other Apple executives have said many times before.
    Ahrendts has now moved on from Apple, but she had a major impact on the way Apple Stores run and many stores around the world have been updated with new store designs that have a community focus.

    Deirdre O'Brien, formerly Apple's vice president of people, has taken over Ahrendts' role and will be overseeing Apple's retail initiatives going forward.

    The full interview with Ahrendts, which includes details on her early life and her time at Burberry, can be listened to on the Podcasts app, on the web, through iTunes, or wherever else podcasts are available.

    Article Link: Angela Ahrendts Shares Lessons She Learned While Working at Apple
     
  2. d5aqoëp macrumors 6502a

    d5aqoëp

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  3. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    Seems like a really strong/educated lady with a lot of extensive history in the retail industry. Being she used to work for Burberry as the CEO prior to Apple, I’m sure she has a bright future no matter what she does. Good luck to her.
     
  4. macguru212 macrumors 6502

    macguru212

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    I'm sure she stuffed her pockets full of free snacks and took rolls of tape on her way out. :p
     
  5. moabal macrumors regular

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    She learned that the Apple Store is not the same thing as a "hangout space" like Starbucks in most locations (aka. Apple stores that are not in a dense urban center).
     
  6. Baymowe335 macrumors 601

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    She did some good things, but the service/sales being together makes the Apple store difficult to visit. Too chaotic and should be separated.

    She failed to address that poor experience.
     
  7. blcamp macrumors regular

    blcamp

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    She has her share of critics - and my more recent experiences at Apple Stores have been rather disappointing (not that they are her fault necessarily) - but I thought these comments were very, VERY insightful, and very useful guidance as I navigate my own career at a fairly senior level.

    I wish Ms. Ahrendts the best.
     
  8. Spartan Weaver macrumors newbie

    Spartan Weaver

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  9. Romeo_Nightfall macrumors 6502

    Romeo_Nightfall

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    She can lie like cook / guess that unites them.
    So pathetic ... i kind of like her skills - she must have some / but lying is a great gift given to her!
     
  10. chipb macrumors member

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    Bye Bye! Huge Fanboy but man, I hate going into the stores now. She screwed them up royally and I am afraid they will be this way for quite sometime. A real shame...IMO....
     
  11. cardfan macrumors 68000

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  12. UnusedLoginID macrumors regular

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    Tim Cook reiterated last week that Apple Stores are not places to BUY products. That’s why they - try to - no longer use the word “store” in the naming.
    Apple Stores are places to experience your Apple products and learn how to be CREATIVE , and get help and support.
    Now, I think that the strategy is wrong for the most part because:
    - people want to talk to someone knowledgeable about the product they want to BUY, and the reason is that it used to be easy to choose a phone, iPad, Mac but now there are so many variations of them - some very similar like the new MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro no Touch Bar - they want to know more
    - there are still many customers who want to be PRODUCTIVE with their Apple devices and as much as Apple is letting them down, they need help at an Apple Store figuring out how to manage their photos or create documents or spreadsheets
     
  13. 6502 macrumors member

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    #13
    That, and they don't serve coffee and offer a quiet space for conversation.
     
  14. moabal macrumors regular

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    Agreed. It is a store first and foremost. They tend to be crowded. In my opinion, you want to get in and get out.
     
  15. BigDO macrumors 6502a

    BigDO

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  16. 6502 macrumors member

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    She's as insightful as a styrofoam peanut.
     
  17. thadoggfather macrumors G4

    thadoggfather

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    We've learned shes one of the highest paid executives at Apple... and her contributions have remained rather mysterious :D
     
  18. infiniteentropy macrumors regular

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    I have disliked her changes to the Apple Stores. It's just a feeling of chaos and waiting far too long until you get any help. Now that I'm out of the Apple ecosystem, a visit to the Apple Store is among the things I'm happy to no longer have to suffer.
     
  19. yesjam, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 7, 2019

    yesjam macrumors regular

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    This is not strictly the fault of Ms. Ahrendts, but the Apple Store experience is in my opinion far and away the worst part about owning Apple products.

    As far as buying goes, I prefer buying online or going to non-Apple retailers - the store is hectic, loud, crowded, and difficult to navigate (e.g. it takes far too long to find someone to pay and execute the payment. This is the most basic aspect of the retail transaction and Apple has it completely wrong, wronger than any other store I have ever been in). As far as servicing goes, well, Apple has us there doesn't it, because its products are increasingly more difficult to service on one's own and it strongly discourages third-party repairs - in some instances crippling functionality of devices repaired by external providers.

    Additionally, I generally find Apple Store employees very exhausting to be around. At the risk of sounding completely pompous I frankly know more than many Apple employees about the products they are purportedly "experts" and "geniuses" about.

    I have only been in an Apple Store maybe a dozen times over the last decade (if that) and the majority of those visits were for servicing purposes, either for my devices or the devices of someone I was accompanying. Each visit soured me on the experience and made me like owning Apple products less.
     
  20. DeepIn2U macrumors 603

    DeepIn2U

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    #20
    Wow a LOT of hate for an independent and successful woman that left a large corporation. Man you guys must be loved great by the women in your families. Maybe not and hence the reason for this hate without substantiating it.
     
  21. NickName99 macrumors regular

    NickName99

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    Apple stores generate substantially more revenue per square foot than any other store. Must be an intense leadership position!
     
  22. AZMecha macrumors regular

    AZMecha

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    As to be fair I wanted to give her benefit of the doubt. That said I do like how she has re-vamped the apple store with sessions and even the on-line support as been vastly improved also with email and often call back follow-up.

    BUT I still feel that some flagship or the 2 main stores in a large city still should have a genius bar. having everyone herded to gather while a training class was underway was not good for all.
    #GENIUSBAR #BRINGBACK
     
  23. DeepIn2U, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 7, 2019

    DeepIn2U macrumors 603

    DeepIn2U

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    Buddy. The Apple stores have been in chaos (chaise originally used - misspelled) for the last decade already long before she arrived and they were NOT getting any better! Weak arguments
     
  24. rizzo41999 macrumors 6502

    rizzo41999

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    Apple stores are a mess and I avoid them. But they're always packed so goes to show how much weight I carry.
     
  25. 6502 macrumors member

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