Apple’s top retailing executive is stepping down amid a slowdown in iPhone sales that has raised doubts about the company’s future growth prospects.
The shake-up announced Tuesday ends Angela Ahrendts’ five-year stint overseeing Apple’s 506 retail stores. She is being replaced by Deirdre O’Brien, a longtime Apple executive who also runs the company’s human-resources department.
During her 30 years at Apple, O’Brien also helped gauge product demand. That issue has become a problem now that customers are holding onto their current iPhones longer instead of buying the latest models. It’s one reason Apple posted disappointing iPhone sales during the past holiday shopping season.
Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives said Apple needs to come up with a new strategy in its stores to help spur iPhone demand.