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Apple’s new retail chief was welcomed with shares that will eventually be worth almost $70m Reuters

Apple's new retail chief has been given a very warm welcome with $68m in share options a week after joining the Mac makers.

Angela Ahrendts, the former Burberry CEO, was handed shares totalling $68m (£40m, €48.8m), based on the firm's current share price of $600, for taking up the reins as head of retail.

She was given 113,335 restricted share options of which 85% will pay out over the next four years as long as she stays put. The first payment will be made at the beginning of June – regardless of her performance. The remaining 15% will be based on the company's share price.

The award to Ahrendts came with the news that Apple's share price had exceeded the $600 mark for the first time since 2012.

Ahrendts' predecessor, John Browett, who now heads Monsoon Accessorize, was set to enjoy a total of $55m over four years but left to join the fashion retailer after just six months.

Ahrendts enjoyed great success with luxury fashion brand Burberry. In her eight years at the helm, before becoming Apple's highest ranked female executive, she managed to triple to company's share price.

In her new role she will be responsible for leading the iPhone maker's strategic direction, expansion and operation of retail stores and online websites.

Ahrendts said at the time of her appointment: "I have always admired the innovation and impact Apple products and services have on people's lives and hope in some small way I can help contribute to the company's continued success and leadership in changing the world."