Burberry Designer Bailey Starts in CEO Role as Ahrendts Departs

Burberry Group Plc said Christopher Bailey started as chief executive officer after Angela Ahrendts formally departed the U.K. luxury-goods maker.

Bailey, who retains his job as chief creative officer, had been named to the CEO role on Oct. 15.

He succeeds Ahrendts, whose resignation became effective yesterday, the London-based company said today in a statement. Bailey, 42, has a tough act to follow. Under Ahrendts, who led Burberry for almost eight years, sales more than doubled and the shares gained more than threefold. Ahrendts left to run retail operations at Apple Inc.

Since joining Burberry from Gucci in 2001, Bailey has transformed a British company best known for plaid-lined trench coats into a full-fledged luxury-goods maker. He enlivened Burberry’s classic designs by using new colors and materials and introduced more expensive ranges including the Prorsum and Brit ready-to-wear collections as well as tailoring and kids’ wear.

As chief creative officer, a position he was named to in 2009, he is also responsible for the company’s overall image, including advertising and store design.

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