Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced that its North America sales head Zane Rowe has resigned from the company. Rowe will be replaced by Doug Beck, who is heading sales in Japan and Korea will oversee North America as well. Rowe is the second top-line executive to leave the company after Katie Cotton, Apple’s head of worldwide communications. Cotton gave the reason that she would like to spend more time with her children after being with the company for 18 years.
“Doug Beck has done a great job helping to grow Apple’s business in Japan and Korea. His role is expanding to include North America sales as well,” said Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet.
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Beck boosted Apple sales in Japan
Beck supervised Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s impressive performance in Japan, and the country has become one of the fastest growing markets for the iPhone, holding around 55% of smartphone market share there. With the launch of the iPhone on NTTDocomo, Japan’s biggest wireless carrier, Apple saw a boost in sales last year.
Rowe, however, did not clarify the reason of resignation, and did not respond to the emails send to him by The Wall Street Journal. Rowe was hired by the iPhone maker in 2012, leaving Continental Airlines, where he spent 19 years. Rowe was appointed as CFO of Continental after it merged with United in 2010, however, he chose to take up a non-financial role at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), heading sales of the company’s products at large enterprises, schools, retail outlets and carriers.
North America sales have not been impressive
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) does not provide separate sales figures for North America but includes them in its Americas group, which contributes almost one-third of its total sales. For the region, sales surged 9% in the year that ended September 2013, above growth in Europe, but behind Greater China and Japan.
Earlier this year, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook revealed that North America failed to perform well in the first quarter of the fiscal year ending in December, as sales remained low. Cook cited the reason that the company did not have enough of the high-end iPhone 5S, indicating the excessive supply of the low-cost iPhone 5C. Also carrier changes became a reason for customers to stick with their older phones longer.