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Ahrendts claims to view Apple Store employees like 'executives'
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Jan 28, 2016, 08:59 AM
The Apple Store has ended its year with the highest employee retention rate the company has ever seen, advises retail head Angela Ahrendts. In an interview, Ahrendts reveals the store achieved a retention rate of 81 percent, with a strong company culture and a connection between employees and the company said to underpin the success of the retail business, with Ahrendts also claiming to look at store staff as if they were "executives."

Speaking to Fast Company, Ahrendts enthused about the culture of Apple, and employee's closeness to the brand. "They feel like one Apple. They don't feel like they are somebody over here working with customers. I don't see them as retail employees. I see them as executives in the company who are touching the customers with the products that Jony [Ive] and the team took years to build."

On the subject of the former Burberry CEO's opening months at Apple, Ahrendts admits she didn't know why Apple "is one of the most successful companies on the planet" until a month after joining. "The culture is so strong. The pride, the protection, the values. The company was built to change people's lives." In the first six months, Ahrendts visited 40 different markets to spend time with leaders, discovering the culture, with the executive first taking a "listen and learn" approach before considering where she could "add value" on top.

Cook has also added his influence to the already-established culture. "He says it's also our responsibility to leave it better than we found it," mused Ahrendts. "So you have these two amazing pillars and a culture built around that. It's the same in retail and in [Cupertino]. That is the underlying mission, and how could you know that unless you're inside?"
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Jan 28, 2016, 03:16 PM
If they're execs, are they getting as total compensation, say, 1% of Ms. Ahrendt's reported $74M a year? Kind of doubt it. 0.1%?
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Jan 28, 2016, 07:06 PM
They're not executives and no one said they were executives.
Charles Martin
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Jan 29, 2016, 02:02 AM
Let me just clear that up on the $74M, btw: she got $74M the first year in stock options (worth considerably less at the moment, but still many millions) in part to lure her away from Burberry and in part to compensate her for lost income if she'd stayed. She doesn't get $74M every year. That said, she makes a lot (just not that much).
Charles Martin
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