Rumor: Apple woos top Sony Ericsson exec to head Latin America division

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Although there has been no official announcement, Apple is said to have lured Sony Ericsson's top dog in North America away to head its Latin American operations, making it the first time the Cupertino, Calif., company has placed someone in charge of the fast-growing region.

According to his Linked In profile, President of Sony Ericsson U.S. and Head of Americas Region Anderson Teixeira joined the Mac maker earlier this month, and has been appointed "Head Latin America at Apple"

Teixeira, a native of Brazil, was part of the soon-to-be-defunct Sony Ericsson joint venture since its inception in 2001 and managed various world regions for the Xperia handset maker. After overseeing Latin America and Western Europe, he was put in operational control of the entirety of North America as President of Sony Ericsson U.S.

Sony is said to be taking over full control of the Sony Ericsson moniker in February following dismal earnings and a falling share of the market.

Until now, Apple has never had an official Latin America division manager, but the region's growing middle class is spending an increasing amount on technology which could be a potential windfall for the company. During Apple's fourth quarter conference call in October, CEO Tim Cook said Brazil showed "great promise" after sales rose 118 percent year over year to surpass $900 million.

As Apple gains momentum in the Latin American market with December's iPhone 4S release and iTunes Music Store rollout, the company looks to strengthen its base and has been rumored to be planning a flagship Apple Store in Brazil.

Adding to the tech giant's presence in the region is product manufacturing partner Foxconn's new iPhone and iPad plant, which was reportedly a $12 billion investment for the Chinese company.

Anderson Teixeira

Pending an official announcement, Teixeira is thought to be working out of Apple's Florida offices in Coral Gables, which is near his old Sony Ericsson base that was also located in Miami.