6 Tim Cook Hires That Prove Apple Is Becoming A Luxury Brand

Tim CookeREUTERS/Robert GalbraithTim Cook wants Apple to be the Bentley of smartphone makers.

On Friday Apple told Vanity Fair that it had hired industrial designer Marc Newson to join Jony Ive’s design team.

Newson is one of a string of high-profile hires Apple has made recently in a perceived effort by Tim Cook to transform Apple into a luxury brand like Louis Vuitton or Chanel.

Here are the other Tim Cook-era hires that are driving Apple into the luxury marketplace:

Angela Ahrendts came to Apple last year after serving as CEO of Burberry. She’s tasked with overseeing Apple’s brick and mortar retail division as well as the online store. Although she took a step down from CEO to senior vice president, Apple promised her tens of millions in restricted stock.

Dr. dre and jimmy iovine at usc $US70 million donationAPFrom left: Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.

Paul Deneve served as CEO of French fashion house Yves Saint Laurent before coming to Apple last year. Deneve is VP of Special Projects and reports directly to Tim Cook. Deneve has been rumoured to be involved with the iWatch.

Ben Schaffer joined Apple last September after working on Nike’s FuelBand business. He is also reportedly involved with Apple’s smartwatch/wearable efforts.

Dr. Dre became an Apple employee after building his Beats by Dre brand into a headphone empire. Although Beats aren’t known for their stellar sound quality, but a string of celebrity endorsements have made them very popular. When Apple bought Beats, Dre became hip-hop’s richest man.

Jimmy Iovine joined Apple alongside Dr. Dre when Apple bought Beats. Iovine is a creative type whose experience in the music industry could revitalize iTunes, which has fallen out of favour with consumers (despite having the largest credit card database in the world). Iovine will guide Tim Cook’s content strategy, which will in turn sell hardware.

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