Apple’s retail chief Angela Ahrendts has explained in a new interview why she left her role as CEO of fashion brand Burberry and joined Apple in 2014.
Ahrendts was interviewed by Fortune as part of a story about Tim Cook’s leadership skills. She praised Cook as the main reason she chose to join Apple.
“The first time I sat down with him, I walked away thinking wow, that’s a man of peace,” Ahrendts said to Fortune. “I just absolutely loved his integrity, his values. Nothing anybody can write, say, or do is going to take him off of always doing the right thing. Not just for Apple, but for Apple’s people, for communities, for countries. The world needs more leaders like Tim.”
Ahrendts explained that it was Cook who first contacted her, and it caused a dilemma: “I did not expect to be moved by the man, and I left and I thought, ‘Ohhhhh! My life was perfect. Aaargh, why, why, why?'”
Once Ahrendts had agreed to join Apple, she spent time talking with Cook about its business. “We talked about the future of retail,” she said. “We didn’t talk a lot about fashion.”
Cook sounds pleased to be working with Ahrendts, too. “She’s a perfect culture fit. Within a week, it felt like she’d been there a year. And now it feels like she’s been there multiple years. When you start to finish each other’s sentences, this is a good thing.”
The Fortune interview with Ahrendts was published on the same day as an interview with Cook in which he expressed a desire to give other Apple executives their time in the limelight. Sure enough, it looks like we could see more executives speaking about their time at Apple soon.