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Apple VP departs amidst Apple Care reorganization

The top dog of Apple customer support has exited the company ahead of significant changes to the struggling program.

Mark Wilhelm, former Vice President of Apple Care, has left Apple Computer, AppleInsider has learned.

Sources close to the computer maker said that Wilhelm parted ties with the company last Monday. AppleInsider later positively confirmed his departure through two independent sources, despite Apple\'s refusal to comment on the subject.

Wilhelm\'s departure comes amongst a major restructuring of the company\'s Apple Care customer support division, which sources said would be put into effect sometime this week.

A downsizing of Apple call centers is expected to follow the restructuring, as the company continues to outsource its customer support to locations in India, Holland and the United Kingdom.

It\'s unclear if Wilhelm departed from Apple on his own terms, or if he was forced out of the company. However, speaking to AppleInsider under anonymity, one source said that Wilhem was \'let go.\'

Migrating to Apple from NeXT Software, which Apple acquired in 1996, Wilhelm climbed the corporate ladder to become vice president of Apple Care--a title he held for at least two and a half years. But unlike the company\'s prosperous iPod and retail divisions, Apple Care has been described by sources as \'a mess\' that continues to underperform in terms of profitability.

Like several members of Apple\'s executive team who have recently cashed-in while riding the success of the company\'s recent stock surge, Wilhelm too stands to gain a pretty penny from options garnered throughout his tenure at Apple.

According to sources with ties to the computer maker, Wilhelm is likely to be succeeded by Farrel Farhoudi, a close associate who has recently acted as director of Apple Care\'s business development.

Neither Apple, nor Mr. Farhoudi were willing to comment on Wilhelm\'s replacement.