The Burberry share price fall that greeted news of Angela Ahrendts’ departure on Tuesday showed understandable nerviness.

The Burberry share price fall that greeted news of Angela Ahrendts’ departure on Tuesday showed understandable nerviness.

Ahrendts is widely acknowledged to have done a great job in taking the luxury retailer to new heights.

Attention turns now to Christopher Bailey, the creative supremo who will take on a greater role as he also succeeds Ahrendts as chief executive. Bailey, a Burberry staffer since 2001, has won garlands from fashionistas for his designs.

Bailey has been responsible for product that has wowed shoppers from Bond Street to Beijing but the question being asked is whether he also has the wider business skills and acumen that Ahrendts wore as easily as the brand’s famous check.

It’s a valid question, but Bailey will not be running the show on his own. It was notable that both Ahrendts and Bailey’s comments on the changing of the guard emphasised the strength of the wider management team - “the industry’s most powerful” in Ahrendts’ words - and the ongoing “guidance” of veteran chairman John Peace.

Ahrendts and the rest of Burberry’s top brass typically kept a low profile among their peers, preferring to concentrate on the consumer through product focus and eye-grabbing catwalk shows and build the business.

That looks likely to continue and, assuming so, Bailey will be first among equals and have expertise to call upon.

Investors will probably wait for concrete evidence that the transition is seamless before piling into the shares again, despite the impressive first-half sales rise also reported on Tuesday.

However, although there will be a bit of wait and see about whether Bailey can marry hard-nosed business and aesthetics in his new post, you only need to look at Ahrendts’ new employer to see that it can be done.

Who exemplified the combination better than Apple’s mercurial founder, Steve Jobs? The comparison might be stretching a point, but Bailey deserves the chance to show he can plough a similar furrow.