updated 01:35 am EDT, Thu May 8, 2014
Rowe, formerly of Continental, to be replaced by Japan sales chief Doug Beck
Unrelated apart from timing with the news that Apple's PR chief Katie Cotton was retiring, the company has now confirmed that its North American head of sales, Zane Rowe, is also departing the company for unknown reasons. Rowe was former the chief financial officer at United Continental airlines, working there for 19 years before taking on sales for Apple. Current head of sales for Japan and Korea, Doug Beck, will add Rowe's North America territory to his duties.
Outgoing NA sales chief Zane Rowe
Rowe handled Apple's enterprise and educational sales, as well as sales to non-Apple retail outlets, including US and Canadian cellular carriers. He leaves the post after just two years on the job. Beck has spearheaded a recent surge in iPhone sales in Japan, following the landing of a deal with the country's largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo. In recent months, the iPhone has charged to grab 58 percent of the country's smartphone marketshare, making it the only country outside of North America where the iPhone beats all Android-based rivals.
"Doug Beck has done a great job helping to grow Apple's business in Japan and Korea," the company said through a spokesperson. "His role is expanding to include North America sales as well." While iOS share in North America is still growing, much of that comes from the collapse of BlackBerry as users trade up to iPhones, and Apple is clearly keen to have Beck help with putting the iPhone more clearly on top in its native country.
Apple did not comment on the reasons for Rowe's departure, but speculation is that Rowe was a candidate to replace retiring CFO Peter Oppenheimer. The job instead went to Luca Maestri, who handled the most recent quarterly conference call with analysts.