Former Apple retail boss Angela Ahrendts joins Airbnb's board

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Former Apple retail boss Angela Ahrendts is joining Airbnb’s board, the company announced Thursday.

The former Burberry CEO led Apple’s retail and online stores for five years before the company announced her departure earlier this year.

Ahrendts had been one of the highest-paid employees at Apple with a total compensation of $26.5 million in 2018, according to Apple’s proxy statement from Jan. 8, 2019. During that same year, CEO Tim Cook made $15.7 million in total compensation that year, according to the filing.

At Apple, Ahrendts used the company’s physical stores to attract customers and develop the brand through in-store programs like “Today at Apple.” In the announcement, Airbnb said her work around “building community among customers” would be an asset to the board.

Ahrendts is now Airbnb’s third independent, non-affiliated board member, the company said. She joins former American Express CEO Ken Chenault and former Pixar CFO Ann Mather as an independent board member.

The board announcement comes as Airbnb is preparing for an initial public offering, which CEO Brian Chesky told CNBC could be ready as soon as later this year.

Watch: CNBC’s 2017 conversation with outgoing Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts

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