Apple’s Former Retail Chief Joins Airbnb Board

Apple's Former Retail Chief Joins Airbnb Board

Angela Ahrendts, the former retail head at Apple, will join the board of Airbnb, according to a report by CNBC.

Before she was at Apple, Ahrendts was the CEO of Burberry. She led online and retail stores for half a decade before it was announced that she was leaving earlier this year.

Ahrendts was one of the most highly compensated employees at Apple. She made $26.5 million in 2018, while Tim Cook, the company’s CEO, made $15.7 million. She was instrumental in using the company’s stores to attract customers through brand development, and also created programs like “Today at Apple.”

Airbnb, which is preparing for an IPO, said Ahrendts’ experience in “building community among customers” would be a good addition to the board. Former American Express CEO Ken Chenault and ex-Pixar CFO Ann Mather are also on the board. Ahrendts will be an independent board member.

In other Apple news, new tariffs imposed by China could cause iPhone production costs to rise as much as 3 percent, and could negatively impact the company’s revenues. According to Fortune, Wedbush Analyst Dan Ives told investors the tariffs would mean a 2 percent to 3 percent boost in the smartphone’s manufacturing cost, which would probably create the need to raise iPhone prices by a similar amount.

China has warned it will retaliate if the Trump administration follows through on reported plans to impose trade tariffs on $200 billion in goods from the country. Apple’s profits are believed to be vulnerable because of its reliance on China for production and sales, with the country generating almost 20 percent of its revenue last year. In fact, Ives said the U.S. tariffs could cause iPhones to cost an extra $120 each to produce.

Whether or not Apple raises its prices, its profits could still take a beating, according to the analyst. Ives pointed out that if Apple raises prices, fewer consumers will buy the phone, which could send the company’s profits falling 50 cents per share this year. On the other hand, if the company maintains prices and takes on the extra cost, its earnings could drop by as much as $1.30 per share.


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