Apple recruits fashion executive for special projects

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 July, 2013, 3:48am

Apple is hiring Paul Deneve, the former chief executive of luxury fashion house Yves St Laurent, to work on special projects.

Deneve returns to the iPhone maker after working for Apple in Europe during the 1990s. He was also chief executive of Lanvin and Nina Ricci before joining Yves St Laurent.

While Apple has traditionally promoted from within, the move shows that chief executive Tim Cook is looking outside the company to fill some senior roles. Apple is also hiring Hulu executive Pete Distad to help with talks to acquire content for Apple TV, said two people familiar with the hire.

Deneve is not the only fashion executive within Apple's corporate ranks. Mickey Drexler, the chairman and chief executive of J Crew, is on Apple's board. Cook is a director at Nike.

"We're thrilled to welcome Paul Deneve to Apple," the company said in a statement. "He'll be working on special projects as a vice-president reporting directly to Tim Cook."

The jobs in high fashion give Deneve experience selling products at a premium price. A pair of women's shoes from Yves St Laurent cost US$625 or more, while a leather jacket from its permanent collection is more than US$5,000, according to its website.

Deneve will not be filling Apple's vacant job running its retail store operation. The position remains open since the departure last year of John Browett, who was on the job less than a year after replacing the company's first retail chief, Ron Johnson.

The Apple-focused website AppleInsider reported earlier this week that Apple hired Deneve.

Francesca Bellettini would be Yves St Laurent's new chief executive after Deneve's departure to "take up a new career opportunity in the high tech industry", the company said in a statement.