Apple’s Cook snares Yves Saint Laurent CEO

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Apple’s Cook snares Yves Saint Laurent CEO

Apple is hiring Paul Deneve, the former chief executive officer of luxury fashion house Yves Saint Laurent Group, to work on special projects for CEO Tim Cook.

Deneve returns to the iPhone maker after working for Apple in Europe during the 1990s. He was also CEO of Lanvin and Nina Ricci prior to joining Yves Saint Laurent.

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

Deneve isn’t the only fashion executive within the iPhone maker’s corporate ranks. Mickey Drexler, the chairman and CEO of J Crew Group, is on Apple’s board. Cook is a director at Nike.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Paul Deneve to Apple,” the Cupertino, California-based 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 Saint Laurent cost $625 or more, while a leather jacket from its permanent collection is more than $5,000, according to its Web site.

Deneve won’t 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 Web site AppleInsider reported earlier yesterday that Apple hired Deneve.

Francesca Bellettini will be Yves Saint Laurent’s new CEO after Deneve’s departure, the company said in a statement. Bloomberg
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