Apple hires Burberry CEO to head retail unit

Apple Inc. hired Burberry Group PLC Chief Executive Angela Ahrendts as head of retail operations, ending a yearlong search and adding the first woman to its 10-member executive team. Ahrendts, 53, will oversee more than 400 retail outlets and Apple's online store, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company said. Apple is tapping an executive who more than doubled Burberry's sales since 2006, rejuvenating the brand by expanding in China, as well as embracing the Web and social media. At Apple stores, started in 2001, hundreds of millions of visitors a year test the latest iPhones and iPads, giving it an advantage over Google, Samsung and Microsoft.

New iPads expected at Apple event next week

Apple Inc. invited media to an event in San Francisco next week, where the consumer-tech giant is expected to show off new iPad models for the holiday season. The invitation, which says "We still have a lot to cover," announced an event Oct. 22 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The event will take place a month after Apple unveiled two new iPhone models and launched them in several countries worldwide, selling 9 million of the new smartphones in the first weekend. The event is expected to include new iPads, as well as details on Apple's new Mac Pro and its OS X Mavericks operating system.

Cerberus said to get look at BlackBerry books

Cerberus Capital Management, the private-equity firm that focuses on distressed assets, signed a nondisclosure agreement with BlackBerry Ltd., gaining access to financial information it could use to formulate a bid for the smartphone maker, Bloomberg News reported. The firm is in the early stages of considering an offer to acquire all of BlackBerry, Bloomberg said, citing an anonymous source. Cerberus may still choose not to proceed with a deal. Peter Duda, a spokesman for New York-based Cerberus, declined to comment, as did Adam Emery, a spokesman for Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry.

Bakken crude prices sink as production rises

Bakken crude oil prices weakened as North Dakota regulators reported record production in August. Bakken oil delivered at a pipeline hub in Clearbrook, Minn., fell 60 cents to a $12.35-a-barrel discount to U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate, according to Calgary oil broker Net Energy Inc. North Dakota's portion of the Bakken produced 847,150 barrels a day in August, according to the state Industrial Commission. Production rose 4.3 percent from July. Total oil output in the state increased to 911,242 barrels a day. About 282,000 barrels a day of crude left the state by pipe, according to the North Dakota Pipeline Authority, the most since October. About 559,000 barrels, or 61 percent of the state's production, left by rail.