How much does Apple care about its retail stores? Enough to pay more than $70 million to the woman heading them up, making her the highest-paid exec at the company.
Apple revealed in an SEC filing Thursday that new hire Angela Ahrendts earned $73.4 million in 2014, almost all of it in stock awards. Ahrendts, the former CEO of Burberry, joined Apple in May as the senior vice president for retail and online stores.
In the filing, Apple explained Ahrendts’ sky-high paycheck. “The recruitment of Ms. Ahrendts provided an extraordinary addition to the Company’s executive team with the experience and ability to lead both the retail and online businesses,” Apple wrote. “In determining her transition package, the Compensation Committee considered Ms. Ahrendts’ compensation arrangement at Burberry and the amounts that she was expected to receive in future years. At the time, Ms. Ahrendts was among the highest paid executives in the U.K. and held unvested Burberry equity awards with a value of approximately $37 million.”
Part of the reason Apple’s been so generous to Ahrendts is because her job extends to much more than just managing the Apple Stores: The former Burberry head was brought on specifically for her fashion taste to help design an Apple Watch that would be visually appealing to customers. We’ll find out whether she succeeded when the new device launches in the spring of this year.