Apple’s head of North American sales, Zane Rowe, is leaving the company and is set to be replaced by Doug Beck, Cupertino’s chief of sales in Japan and Korea, according to a recent report.
The news comes from The Wall Street Journal, which explains that Rowe joined Apple some two years ago following a 19-year stint at Continental Airlines. He then joined United when the two companies merged in 2010 and acted as chief financial officer. “He moved to a non-financial role at Apple, overseeing its sales to large enterprises, schools, retail outlets, and carriers,” the publication notes, adding:
CEO Tim Cook noted in January that North America was a weak spot for iPhone sales in Apple’s fiscal first quarter ended December. At the time, Cook said the company did not have enough of the high-end iPhone 5S, suggesting that it had too much supply of the less-expensive 5C. The Apple chief also cited changes in carrier policies, which prompted customers to hold onto older phones longer.
Rowe’s replacement, Doug Beck, has recently overseen impressive Apple sales in Japan, and as such it seems Cupertino is hoping Beck can work his magic on Apple’s home turf.
As we explained last month, Japan is presently one of Apple’s strongest markets: sales of the iPhone 5s have meant Cupertino’s share of the Japanese market has continued to increase throughout 2014, while Apple’s share of the U.S. smartphone market actually decreased by 7.8 percent over the same three-month period. It’s been said that Apple’s release cycle, which sees a major handset refresh launch every two years, could explain the situation in the United States.
The Wall Street Journal adds that it’s “not immediately clear” why Rowe is leaving his current position at Apple, or when the transition is set to take place. The news concerning his departure comes after Kate Cotton, Apple’s long-time PR guru, announced her retirement from the company.
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