By Jim Boulden, CNN
LONDON - A fashion CEO is now set to become one of the highest profile female executives in the world. Burberry Chief Executive Angela Ahrendts is leaving the company and heading to Apple.
It's a stunning move for the woman who re-launched Burberry as a super luxury brand. She has been the face of Burberry for nearly a decade. She was the highest paid CEO of any top British publicly-traded company last year, and Ahrendts is been given credit for the steep rise in Burberry's value as she reset the old British brand into a super luxury must-have with a strong digital platform.
Burberry's new flagship store on London's Regent Street was a big part of Ahrendts' plan was to re-launch the brand in massive super luxury stores in the world's top cities. Instead of relying on sales from placing goods in department stores, now she will metaphorically move up the street to another big brand with big stores in the world's biggest cities: Apple.
Ahrendts will take over the role as the head of retail stores and online stores in hopes of bringing some of the Burberry magic to Apple, especially in China.
Apple is an also-ran in the fast growing Chinese market.
"She will have her manicured fingernails dirty with the staff. She'll be great with them. She'll know, discuss, is this the right color, the right size? Are we giving the troops what they really want on the shelves? Are we going to have them queuing up in front of the shops in Beijing, Manila, London, Paris? That's what she is all about," said market analyst David Buik.
Ahrendts spearheaded Burberry's turnaround with Chief Creative Christopher Bailey. He will keep that role and take over as CEO next year. They have been a tag team since 2006.
With Ahrendts leaving, Burberry shares fell more than seven percent in London trading.
"I'd say indeed it was an over-reaction. I think it was more profit taking than a reflection of Mr. Bailey taking the helm," said Ishaq Siddiqi with ETX Capital.
Now Ahrendts is taking on a new challenge, answering to Apple CEO Tim Cook. But arguably she will be more in the spotlight for one of the world's biggest brands, as it tries to re-brand front of house.