#Catalyst :: Angela Ahrendts – CEO of Burberry

Angela Ahrendts

Since 2006, Angela has been Chief Executive Officer of Burberry, the global luxury company distinguished by its 155-year British heritage and iconic outerwear. Under the leadership of Angela and the executive team, the development of a pure brand strategy has driven the company’s global growth, realized through international retail expansion and innovation in product design and digital marketing.  Over the past five years, the Group’s revenues have more than doubled and Burberry is now widely regarded as one of the leading British brands in the world, with a thriving, connected corporate culture.

Culture is Our Legacy

  • How did you come from a small town and ascend to be the CEO of Burberry?
  • I was one of 6 kids in the family. I learned to be a spectator and I learned to listen. I was born a dreamer. I lived in my world.
  • As a young girl I lived in fashion magazines and dreamed of getting into the fashion industry.
  • You have obviously led a remarkable turnaround. Talk about staying true to who Burberry is, but also leading a revolution and transforming a classic brand.
  • We talk about our core values alot. Born from the coat means two things: It’s the heritage of the company. We’re a democratic luxury company.
  • It’s our job to polish every facet of this diamond that is Burberry.
  • What do we need to do to make sure that the company is relevant in 150 years. This takes the ego out of it. Because we’re serving this brand that will long outlive all of us.
  • We created a social media platform for the company.
  • We put our iconic trench coat out there in the social sphere and it was successful.
  • We closed many stores in order to clean stuff up.
  • If you don’t have a servant leadership mentality to the brand and the consumer,
  • When you have one pure laser view, then things become alot clearer.
  • The hardest thing for people to do is change.
  • Just because you have to kill something, doesn’t mean you have to kill it poorly.
  • A great leader’s job is to be open and honest.
  • We over communicate so that everyone knows that there is no fear.
  • We wanted to build a foundation where trust, intuition and belief were really what united and aligned.
  • You can’t drive rapid innovation today unless people are free to dream.
  • We did some fundamental things to connect everyone.
  • We had plans to get everyone in the company to own something in the company.
  • I just don’t understand why people wouldn’t be authentic.
  • I have chosen to never forget where I came from.
  • We’re all born to do something.
  • Our job is to put ourselves in the right place at the right time.
  • The true success of our company is that all the employees trust each other.
  • How hard is it to say Thank You?
  • Of course we want the brand to live on, but when I started at Burberry I knew how valuable it was to create a great culture in our company.
  • The brand will hopefully live on, but hopefully what we’re putting in place in the culture will live on.
  • I hope that our company culture is our legacy.
  • I want our employees to know that they belong, and know that they are loved.

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