Angela Ahrendts Joins Airbnb Following Departure from Apple
A few months ago, Angela Ahrendts closed the chapter on her massively successful, five-year stint at Apple. She led Apple’s retail and online stores, and was the driving force behind programs like “Today at Apple.” The former retail chief was one of Apple’s most prominent leaders and highest-paid executives, raking in more money than CEO Tim Cook at one point. Now, in her first corporate position since leaving the tech giant earlier this year, Ahrendts has decided to take her talents to Airbnb.
In her new role, Ahrendts will serve as the third independent, non-affiliated member of Airbnb’s Board of Directors. She joins former American Express CEO Ken Chenault and former Pixar CFO Ann Mather. Mather, who began her role in August, was the first female on the otherwise all-male board. The duo will provide a much-needed balance to the leadership at Airbnb, which CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky had envisioned back in May 2018.
“Angela has a reputation for pushing brands to dream big, and she told me that’s exactly what she hopes to bring to Airbnb’s board,” said Chesky. “She has led global brands through transformation, completely redefined the retail experience, and done it all while putting customers and communities first.”
The changes to the board come as Airbnb prepares to unleash an initial public offering which is slated to be ready later in 2019. The company was valued at $31 billion in 2017, with a $1 billion round. Ahrendts' lengthy resume of major brands like Burberry, Henry Bendel, Liz Claiborne, and Donna Karan International will most definitely play a key role as Airbnb makes its pitch to potential shareholders.
After accepting the position, Ahrendts added, “I am elated by the opportunity to join Airbnb’s board of directors at this important phase on the incredible journey of the company and its community of hosts and guests.”