Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Apple hands Angela Ahrendts $68m in shares

Apple has welcomed its powerful new retail boss Angela Ahrendts with a bumper share award worth $68m (£40m).
The Indiana-born executive, who joined Apple last week from her previous role as head of British fashion label Burberry, has been granted a maximum of 113,334 restricted stock options which will transfer to her in a series of payments starting over the next four years.
Apple's share price has hit a new high, surpassing $600 for the first time since October 2012, making Ahrendt's settlement worth $68m at today's prices.
Ahrendts will be Apple's most powerful retail boss ever, with control not only of its 423 stores but the company's online shopfront.
She is the second Apple retail boss to be recruited from a British business. Her predecessor John Browett, formerly chief executive of Dixons and now boss of Monsoon Accessorize, lasted just six months in the post but would have been entitled to shares worth $55m had he lasted a full term.
After a false start with Browett, Apple's chief executive, Tim Cook, is hoping for second time lucky with Ahrendts, whom he described as "wicked smart" in a letter to staff after her appointment.
Ahrendts took Burberry into emerging markets, with a growing business in China, and also dragged what was a conservative fashion label into the digital age with a flair for new media marketing. Last year, Burberry was given early access to the then unreleased iPhone 5S to film a catwalk show.
The first instalment of her Apple shares will vest on 1 June and is worth nearly $9.8m. The bulk of her shares – around 96,000 stock options – will be granted simply for remaining in post. A further 17,300 are performance based, and the number she actually receives will depend on Apple's share price measured against other similar companies between now and 2017.
She left Burberry last week, handing the reins to creative boss Christopher Bailey, after being granted early access to share bonuses worth £6.2m and a cash bonus worth £2.1m, which together with her basic salary took her pay for her final year at the fashion group to over £9m.