Apple hires former HP executive to boost corporate & government sales

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Apple is pushing harder to sell hardware to enterprise and government markets, and has bolstered those efforts with the hire of a longtime executive at PC maker Hewlett-Packard, it was revealed on Thursday.

Apple confirmed the hire of former HP senior vice president John Solomon to Re/code, but declined to confirm his role or title. But sources informed Arik Hesseldahl that he will be "central" in Apple's efforts to improve sales to major corporations and large government agencies.

It was also suggested that Solomon may play a part in international sales of the Apple Watch, which is set to hit the market early this year, though those claims seemed less certain.

Before joining Apple, John Solomon spent 20 years at PC maker Hewlett-Packard.

Hesseldahl portrayed the hiring of Solomon as "significant," considering Apple has historically conceded corporate sales to competing, cheaper options in the technology industry. Solomon spent 20 years at HP, and eventually served as a vice president in the company's printing and personal systems group.

While Macs have struggled to gain significant traction in the enterprise, Apple's popular iPhone and iPad lineups have made serious inroads in the corporate world, thanks in large part to adoption of "bring your own device" policies at work. A new study released just this week showed that Apple's iOS dominates mobile platforms in the corporate world, coming in ahead of Android, Windows and BlackBerry.

To continue to further that success, Apple has partnered with IBM for enterprise deployment, complete with a wide range of "MobileFirst" applications targeted toward businesses. The partnership will also see IBM provide support and assist in deployment across a wide range of business types.

In his company's most recent quarterly earnings report Chief Executive Tim Cook said he believes business-targeted apps being developed in partnership with IBM will help grow sales of iOS devices in the enterprise.

"The deeper the apps go in the enterprise, the more it opens up avenues in the enterprise," Cook said.

The hiring of Solomon also comes as Apple is rumored to be working on a so-called "iPad Pro," an alleged touchscreen tablet in the 12-inch range that is claimed to be focused on enhanced productivity. Speculation has suggested the device could be a hybrid-style device offering more traditional computing functions, as well as enhanced multitasking capabilities, which could appeal to professional-grade users.