Ahrendts is the second CEO from the fashion industry brought on board by Apple after Paul Deneve, former CEO and President of Yves-Saint Laurent, was hired as vice president in charge of "special projects" in July 2013.
Ahrendts’ hiring comes at a time when Apple is struggling to revive a brand outsmarted by rivals such as Samsung in recent times, which has imitated Apple’s brightly lit spaces format and come up with distinctive products and glitzy marketing.
Sales at Apple stores witnessed a decline in the three months ended 30 June 2013 compared with the prior year for the first time since 2009.
Ahrendts is known for reviving the fortunes of the British luxury brand Burberry which was in risk of dilution, by embracing digital innovation, building a strong online business, and tapping Chinese and Latin American markets.
Ahrendts’ major challenge at Apple will be to boost sales of iPad and iPhone, and position the brand in countries like China, India, Russia and most of Europe.
Commenting on Ahrendts appointment, Apple CEO Tim Cook said," She shares our values and our focus on innovation, and she places the same strong emphasis as we do on the customer experience. "
"She 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."
Ahrendts will join Apple in spring 2014, filling a long-vacant gap in the company’s executive lineup.