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Tim Cook sends an internal message about Angela Ahrendts’ departure

Apple’s departure of an executive like Angela Ahrendts has caused some surprise among the company’s fans. One day after the announcement, new details about the circumstances of this march have emerged that shed more light on the matter. This information would confirm that this is both a personal and professional decision.

Business Insider took over the note sent by Tim Cook to his employees on the occasion of Ahrendts’ departure last Tuesday:

Tim Cook sends an internal message about Angela Ahrendts’ departure
Tim Cook sends an internal message about Angela Ahrendts’ departure


I am writing to let you know about an important leadership change. Today we announced the promotion of one of our most passionate and experienced advocates for our customers and employees, and the departure of a much-loved and accomplished leader who has played a transformative role in redesigning the Apple retail experience.

After five years leading Apple’s physical and online stores, Angela Ahrendts plans to leave Apple in April to pursue new personal and professional goals. Angela has inspired and energized our teams with a vision of stores as a place where the best of Apple comes together to serve customers and communities. During her tenure, the store experience has been redefined with programs like Today at Apple and our relationship with customers is stronger than ever.

This transition gives us the opportunity to reinforce and advance the values that make our online and physical stores the best in the world, and our mission to enrich the lives of others. As I’ve said several times, Apple’s greatest asset is its people. And with this in mind, the best choice to lead our team became clear quickly.

I am excited to announce that Deirdre O’Brien will be taking the reins of our retail team in a new role as Senior Vice President of Retail + People. Deirdre brings a perspective and experience gained in over 30 years at Apple, decades dedicated to connecting customers, employees and the processes to serve them. She has worked at Apple collaboratively, where Deirdre and her team help people lead with meaning and humanity.

Deirdre was part of the team that planned and launched Apple’s first physical and online store. She has been part of the exciting retail expansion and all product launches since then. She knows the value of the deep human connections that are possible through retail experiences, and she knows that’s where Apple shows its heart and soul.

In her role as Vice President of Personnel, Deirdre and her team have brought a heightened focus on how Apple inspires, connects, develops, and cares for its employees, essential efforts that she will continue to bring to the entire company through the Personnel team in its new and expanded role.

As we look ahead, looking for new ways to enhance our online and in-store experiences, building deeper relationships with customers who love our products, I believe our team, at every level, is the best in the industry. I am grateful to Angela for all she has done for Apple, and I look forward to seeing what Deirdre brings to the table in her new role.

To all retail employees, and to our employees around the world, thank you for making it possible for dreamers to become creators, for expanding human potential, and for doing the best job of our lives.


Of course, the message conveyed by Cook does not refer to someone who has been forced to leave the company against their will. He does not speak of Ahrendts as someone who has been forced to leave . Let the cases of Scott Forstall, and John Browett, who was only 6 months in charge of Retail, serve as examples. From the official announcement in 2012:

A single mention of each. Quite dry . No thanks or good wishes dedicated to Ahrendts. Not even a farewell photo with the protagonists smiling as with Ahrendts. The contrast is obvious.

As the days went by, new information appeared about the reasons for Angela Ahrendts’ departure, which we can now describe as voluntary. Yesterday we analysed the interview she had with Vogue Business a handful of days before the announcement of her departure, which the SVP Retail closed as follows:

Yesterday we learned that the author of the report, Suzy Menkes, had uploaded the following photo to her Instagram account :

It’s a closing that seems more appropriate than the one that finally ended the interview. Ahrendts has spent the last five years in California, far away from his family and the city of London where his children reside. The still-executive of Apple has dual US-British citizenship.

In this way, we clear up unknowns around this movement in Apple’s dome. Ahrendts decided to leave for two reasons: he considers that his contribution to Apple has ended , and it is the right time to return to live in the same time zone as his family.