Friday, June 26, 2009, 02:25 pm PT (05:25 pm ET)
iPhone marketing head goes to VC firm; iTunes breaks records after Jackson deathOne of Apple's more publicly visible executives has left to join a venture capital firm. Meanwhile, Apple has unintentionally benefitted as those mourning Michael Jackson's death have flocked to iTunes to buy the pop star's music in what's likely to be record numbers.
Borchers quits Apple to join VC group
Best known as "Bob" from some of Apple's guided tour videos, the company's senior director of worldwide iPhone product marketing Bob Borchers has left his employer to join the venture capital group Opus Capital as one of its partners.
The executive had been at Apple since 2004 and helped direct Apple's public image for the iPhone and iPod at alternate points in his five-year tenure. However, despite considering Apple an "amazing" place to work, he felt it time to leave as there were too many irresistable "white spaces" in the cellular business that could use investment, such as marketing and medicine.
It's not known who will replace Borchers at Apple.
Apple unwitting beneficiary of Jackson death
As millions have sought to pay tribute to Michael Jackson following his sudden death on Thursday, Apple has inadvertently found itself profiting from the occasion through the iTunes Store.
As of Friday evening, six out of the top ten songs being purchased on the US store belonged to the legendary singer, while a staggering nine out of ten top albums came from the musician. About 19 of the top 25 music videos were either for Jackson specifically or else one of his collaborative projects, such as the "We Are the World" charity song. No previous artist, living or dead, has achieved that level of popularity on the music service since it opened in 2003.
While undoubtedly beneficial for Apple, the company has been restrained in its approach to the tragedy. Beyond posting a single banner to honor Jackson's passing — a customary gesture it has regularly made for other artists, such as James Brown or Johnny Cash — the company has not taken any extra steps to advertise its song library.
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