From Liz to Burberry: Ahrendts to Replace Bravo as Brand's CEO

Burberry has named Liz Claiborne executive Angela Ahrendts as ceo, succeeding Rose Marie Bravo, who will become vice chairman.

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"She is a terrific leader with the ability to drive the creative team with financial savvy," McMahon added.

Nautica president Denise Seegal, who hired Ahrendts at Liz Claiborne as vice president of corporate merchandising, said: "Angela is a very accomplished executive and her management and merchandising skills that she had at Liz Claiborne will make a smooth transition. This is great for Burberry and there will be many future opportunities for them."

Bravo said on Tuesday that Ahrendts would bring a new rush of excitement, and talent, to Burberry.

"I think it will be really stimulating for the company to have a new talent, and for Angela to offer a new take on Burberry. But we have to give her a chance to get to know Burberry before she puts together her three- to five-year plan."

She added that Ahrendts has a complementary set of skills. "Whereas Brian [Blake] and I have a retail, fragrance and accessories background, she has more wholesale experience, she's steeped in apparel and has a better understanding of the supply chain than I do," she said.

Indeed, one London-based analyst said that while Bravo was stellar when it came to her vision for the brand and her creative talents, she was not strong on the operations side.

"It's great news that Ahrendts is very good with supply chain because that's a part of the business that's been letting Burberry down. It's what the recent IT changes are all about," the analyst said.

Burberry has just implemented Project Atlas, a massive information technology overhaul aimed at smoothing out bumps in the supply chain and making the business more efficient. The project is being spearheaded by Stacey Cartwright, Burberry's chief financial officer.

Ahrendts will sit alongside Blake and Cartwright on Burberry's executive board, which Bravo refers to as the "nucleus" of the company.

Analysts were upbeat Tuesday about the management changes. "The fact that Bravo will remain at Burberry — albeit in a different role — should come as a relief to shareholders who feared the company would suffer if she were to leave," said Constanza Mardones, retail analyst at Citigroup in London.

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