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Wednesday, May 07, 2014, 05:42 pm PT (08:42 pm ET)

Apple's North American head of sales to leave company after two years on the job

Coming on the heels of Wednesday's news that veteran PR chief Katie Cotton would be leaving the company, Apple announced its North American head of sales Zane Rowe is also leaving for reasons unknown.


Continental Airlines via CNN


Zane Rowe

New Apple Vice President of Sales Zane Rowe. | Source: All Things D


Unlike Cotton, who is leaving Apple after 18 years to spend more time with her children, the circumstances surrounding Rowe's departure are unclear, reports The Wall Street Journal. The head of sales was initially brought on just two years ago after serving as executive vice president and chief financial officer at United Continental.

After his 19-year stint at Continental Airlines — which subsequently merged with United Airlines — Rowe faced a change in roles upon arriving at Apple. Instead of financial oversight, the executive took on sales including Apple's important enterprise and educational sales initiatives. In addition, Rowe was responsible for sales to retail outlets and cellular phone carriers.

Taking over for Rowe will be Apple's head of sales for Japan and Korea Doug Beck, who will add North America to his current responsibilities. Apple has seen huge gains in East Asia over the past year, especially in Japan where the iPhone is now a dominant force thanks to a hard-won partnership with the country's largest telecom NTT DoCoMo.

"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 spokesperson Kristin Huguet.

Apple did not comment on the timing of Rowe's official departure, nor did the company say when Beck will take control of North American sales operations.