Apple is hiring a well known CEO of a luxury retail giant, but it’s not for its long-vacant retail SVP position, reports Bloomberg’s Adam Satariano. Former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve is apparently moving to Apple after stepping down earlier this month at the fashion retailer. He will report to Apple CEO Tim Cook on ‘special projects’, rather than replace John Browlett as head of retail.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Paul Deneve to Apple,” Apple said in a statement given to Bloomberg. “He’ll be working on special projects as a vice president reporting directly to Tim Cook.”
That news is a bit odd, as Denveve is actually an ex-Apple employee himself. His position was Sales & Marketing Manager of Apple Europe from 1990-1997. Though Deneve’s hiring is a bit out of left field, it was originally rumored by Apple Insider earlier today.
Deneve was replaced by fashion exec Francesca Bellettini at YSL, where Deneve was credited with replacing its designer and creative director which re-invigorated sales. At the time of his departure, Deneve said that he was going to “take up a new career opportunity in the high-tech industry.”
If one was to spin out the conjecture line, it seems that it would most likely point at a piece of wearable computing, which Apple has been rumored to be eyeing.
At the D11 conference earlier this year, Cook spoke about wearable computing only indirectly:
“I think wearables is incredibly interesting, it could be a profound area,” Cook continued. He said that Glass had some ‘positives’.
“I wear glasses because I have to…I don’t know a lot of people that wear them that don’t have to,” Cook added. “People that do wear them want them to be light and unobtrusive, they generally want them to reflect their fashion and their style.
“I wear this, it’s a FuelBand,” Cook said about his wrist computer. “It’s designed for a specific use…the ones that are doing more than one thing…there’s nothing great out there that I’ve seen. There’s nothing that’s going to convince a kid to wear glasses or a watch or a band who has never worn one to do so, that I’ve seen.”
“I think the wrist is interesting,” said Cook in response to Mossberg. “If we had a room full of 10 to 20 year olds and said everyone stand up that just has a watch on…I’m not sure anyone would stand up. Their watch is this,” said Cook, holding up his white iPhone 5.
And marketing a wrist computer is basically marketing a piece of fashion. It would only make sense to hire on a marketing with experience in the area.
Of course, this could all be misdirection, and Deneve could end up in the Retail SVP slot after an acclimation period.
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