Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s new SVP for retail and online sales Angela Ahrendts received a grand welcome at the company. The world’s most valuable company said in an SEC filing Monday that it has awarded Ahrendts a grant of 113,334 restricted stock units. Based on Monday’s closing price of $600.96, her stock options are worth $68.1 million.
Apple’s retail unit finally gets a dedicated leader
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) hired Ms. Ahrendts in October 2013, but she joined the company on May 1. She is the former CEO of British fashion retailer Burberry Group plc (LON:BRBY). Notably, the Indiana-born executive is now the highest ranking woman executive at Apple. Her stock options will begin vesting on June 1, 2014, and fully vest on June 14, 2018. The first tranche that vests on June 1, 2014 is worth more than $9.8 million.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s retail business has been waiting for a dedicated leader since 2012. Ahrendts’ predecessor John Browett left the company in October 2012, just six months after joining the iPhone maker. He was awarded 100,000 restricted stocks at the time, but left before he could exercise the RSUs fully. Tim Cook had been overseeing day-to-day operations of the retail unit since Browett’s departure.
Can Ahrendts revive Apple’s flagging retail sales growth?
Angela Ahrendts will oversee Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s worldwide retail and online sales operations that employee more than 42,000 people. The iPhone maker said in its regulatory filing that Ahrendts will get 85% of the stock awards if she remains at the company for four years, irrespective of performance. The remaining 15% or $10.1 million worth of shares are tied to her performance.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s retail sales growth has slowed in the absence of a dedicated chief. The retail business grew at 47% in FY2010, 44% in 2011, 33% in 2012 and just 7% in 2013 to $20.23 billion. The tech giant aims to open 30 new stores in 2014. The company currently has 423 retail stores, and more than 50% of them are in the United States. With recent openings in Turkey and Brazil, the company now has a retail presence in 15 countries. Retail stores account for about 11% of Apple’s total revenue.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares gained 0.31% to $602.81 in pre-market trading Tuesday.