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"[Ahrendts] helped Burberry to become a leader in the use of emerging technologies to connect and engage with the customer base," Macquarie analyst Ben Schachter said in a recent note. And even though Ahrendts is just about to start in her role at Apple, she's already being mentioned as a possible successor to Cook, who took over as CEO from co-founder Steve Jobs in 2011. Shortly after she was named to the Apple job, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff was among those crowning her the next Apple chief and describing her as "the biggest hire @tim_cook has made since Steve left us."Ahrendts is the only person on Apple's management team who has run a large, global company before. And while she may not have the technical chops of senior Apple leaders like iTunes chief Eddy Cue or design leader Jony Ive, she does have something perhaps even more important -- a proven talent for transforming a company from a brand on the decline to a seemingly unstoppable powerhouse.

"We'll see what happens, but it might be interesting if they start to change the [retail] look," said Brian iphone screen protector otterbox White, an analyst with Cantor Fitzgerald, "Apple stores are phenomenal today, but just think about all the capital and what they could really do to the stores to jazz them up."Another plus in her column: Ahrendts has been an Apple observer and admirer for years: "If I look to any company as a model, it's Apple," Ahrendts told The Wall Street Journal in 2010, "They're a brilliant design company working to create a lifestyle."Unlike most Apple senior execs, Ahrendts hasn't been press-shy over her 30-year career, She has participated in several profiles during her time as Burberry's CEO -- including with The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Charlie Rose, She's written articles for publications such as the Harvard Business Review and given talks at her alma mater, TEDx, and other events..

Apple declined to make Ahrendts available for an interview. Burberry didn't respond to CNET's inquiries. Ahrendts was born in 1960 in New Palestine, Indiana, a small town with about 2,000 residents. One of six children, she says she "lived vicariously through fashion magazines," dreaming from the time she was young about working in that industry, Ahrendts said during a 2010 commencement address at her alma mater, Ball State University. After graduating in 1981 with a degree in merchandising and marketing, she moved to New York to pursue her dream of working in fashion.

"I was scared, trust me, but knew I was not alone and kept repeating to myself 'I will not live my life saying I wish I would have'," Ahrendts told Ball State graduates, As for her personal life, Ahrendts met her husband, Gregg, in elementary school, They dated long-distance for 17 years before getting married in iphone screen protector otterbox their 30s, The couple has three teenaged children, and Ahrendts told the WSJ she's a devout Christian who reads the Bible every day, In New York, Ahrendts worked at bra maker Warnaco before landing her first major fashion job in 1989 at Donna Karan, where she was promoted to president, Ahrendts also worked a short stint at Henri Bendel from 1996 to 1998, where she was tasked with expanding the high-end New York retailer into 50 new markets, Bendel parent company Limited Brands scrapped the idea a couple years after hiring Ahrendts, and she left to become vice president of merchandising and design at Liz Claiborne..

Ahrendts, who eventually took on the role of executive vice president, oversaw nearly two dozen Liz Claiborne brands, including Juicy Couture. In 2005, Rose Marie Bravo, then-CEO of Burberry, asked Ahrendts to join the company as her successor. Ahrendts has said she initially turned the offer down, refusing to even have coffee to discuss the role with anyone at Burberry. She later agreed to talk with Bravo and to meet with Christopher Bailey, the Burberry creative director who Ahrendts had worked with at Donna Karan. After a long lunch, Ahrendts decided to take the job at Burberry.

"We had lunch that day, [Bailey] and I, for, 3-and-a-half hours and on the back of a napkin, put our dreams on paper," Ahrendts said in a 2010 interview with Charlie Rose, "I said, 'if I do this, what are we going to do ., in the next five years?'"What Ahrendts did was re-energize both Burberry's sales and its image, One key step was buying out companies in Spain and other countries that had licensed the Burberry name to label their own lower-end products, That practice was hurting Burberry's image as a luxury brand, She also limited the number of products iphone screen protector otterbox that could use Burberry's iconic pattern in a bid to make it exclusive once again..

Her work in the fashion world gained attention. Forbes ranked her No. 53 on its list of the most powerful women in the world in 2013 for her accomplishments at the British company. Last year, she was named an honorary Dame Commander of the British Empire for her contributions to British business. Ahrendts credits "Midwestern core values" instilled by her parents for much of her success. She's said publicly that her father taught her compassion and humility, while her mother taught her to have faith and be the best she could be. Ahrendts also said during the Ball State commencement speech that it's important to follow your heart and not get sidetracked by technology.

"Technology has given us access to the world and its sea of content, allowing us to never speak to another person if we don't want to," she said, "Computers and smart devices are among the greatest intellectual gifts ever created for man, but if not balanced with human contact, may offer little to develop ones heart, Don't get me wrong, I am mesmerized by this Digital Tsunami, but Google doesn't have all the answers, and are all those people on Facebook truly your friends?"Following one's feelings or intuition has been a common message from Ahrendts in recent years, In a TEDx Hollywood presentation she gave in March of 2013, Ahrendts delved into the power of "human energy.""Think of energy almost like emotional electricity, It has a powerful way of uniting ordinary people, their connected spirit, to do extraordinary iphone screen protector otterbox things," she said..



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