You don’t often hear about luxury fashion companies and high-tech computing and mobile device manufacturers in the same breath, but Apple has decided that success in selling clothing will translate to the ability to move more i-devices.
At least, that is the message the tech giant is sending in its hiring of Angela Ahrendts. Ahrendts was the chief executive officer of Burberry, a British luxury fashion company, until she was snatched up by the Cupertino-based maker of the iPhone and iPad. Ahrendts will head up the retail arm of the company and stands to make a hefty sum if Apple stock keeps on riding high.
As part of her signing bonus, Ahrendts received over 100,000 shares of Apple stock. At current prices, that translates to over $67 million dollars. This figure tops the $60 million package that Marissa Mayer received when she became CEO of Yahoo. The package represents the highest payday for a female executive at a public U.S. company, and puts her up there with the highest paid male executives as well.
Of course, news of this payday comes at a time when many are scrutinizing executive pay. Critics have found fault with Coca-Cola’s executive pay plan, and many deposed CEOs have received “golden parachutes” to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, even when they have failed to meet expectations. It remains to be seen if Ahrendts is worth the investment by Apple, but she was successful at Burberry, and may be able to take that knowledge and lift the Apple retail stores.