Apple’s North American sales head Zane Rowe leaving company

“Apple’s North American sales head Zane Rowe, recruited from United Continental Holdings two years ago, is leaving the company,” Daisuke Wakabayashi reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Apple said Doug Beck, who oversees sales in Japan and Korea, will add North America to his responsibilities,” Wakabayashi reports. “‘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 spokeswoman Kristin Huguet.”

“It was not immediately clear why Rowe is leaving or when the transition would take place. Rowe did not respond to an email seeking comment,” Wakabayashi reports. “Beck has overseen Apple’s stellar performance in Japan. The country has emerged as one of the company’s fastest-growing markets with the iPhone accounting for about 55% of smartphone market share.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

Related article:
Apple’s PR head Katie Cotton to retire – May 7, 2014


  1. Clearly, there’s juggling and change going on in Apple Marketing. That’s actually a good sign, IMHO. But that’s as far as I’ll stick my neck out. What we don’t want to see is creative/productive people leaving.

    1. North American sales led by Zane Rowe, who is leaving the company, and worldwide corporate communications led by Katie Cotton are two of the weakest pieces of Apple Corporation. I don’t think either one is just a coincidence, or just the natural business cycle. Looks like Tim Cook is looking to shore up those areas.

      I’ve worked for two large corporations that promoted their CFOs to CEO. It’s never pretty. If the former CFO of an airline company had anything to do with retail sales and Apple stores over the last two years, then I now understand why the customer experience has been a little off lately. Former CFO’s are seldom creative people, and if they are they usually end up in jail.

      Worldwide public relations at Apple have not been handled very well at times. Cook’s moves look to be a good thing for Apple. It looks like maybe he’s finally taken the reins and is making this company his own.

    1. absolutely correct.

      2nd (known) person to be on Angela’s blood.

      it won’t be ending soon however.

      powerful british women executives’ reputation precedes them.
      tends to clear the decks even before they’re officially on board.

      it will get interesting.

      1st the americans go. then the europeans (not-brit) will be leaving.

  2. I had long rants about my misgivings about Apple P. R and Marketing for several years. Today both the head of P.R and N. America sales is gone. i don’t know what these people are responsible for or their reasons for leaving (except what I’ve read in the blogs) so I’m not implying cause and effect or blame (but it’s interesting).

    Here’s one of my posts from a few months ago ( a LOT of things have changed since then , like the great quarter, the stock rise, improvement in the ads, Cook’s strong P.R response to the ‘haunted Empire’ book etc, anyhow it might provide some amusement — you can see i was pretty pissed off at the time … ) :

    Feb 2014
    “a big problem of Apple stock doldrum’s as I’ve written is due to atrocious Apple PR.

    Aapl’s P.E is 12, Goog’s is 33. Low PE is an indication of the poor perception of the company. If aapl had Goog’s P.E the stock would be over 1000 now.

    Apple under T. Cook simply refuses to defend itself (and hardly does any promotion either).

    When the hedge funds and their pal analysts (sometimes both in one person like Doug Kass) manipulates Apple stock with false rumours (“supply chain issues, dwindling demand, consumer surveys say apple has lost it’s innovation” etc) Apple does nothing. Kass over and over again on CNBC manipulates aapl, declaring some made up issue to push the stock down to support his shorts and then he buys in when aapl is down (he even sheepishly announces it on CNBC that he has made a mistake that the stock — once he’s bought more — is going to climb again and he plays the aapl like a yo yo. ). Apple does nothing. When an analyst tried that some years ago with RIM (Blackberry), the RIM CEO immediately contacted the Canadian Government and the U.S SEC and made several PR announcements disputing the analyst. Hate Rim all you want but I bet that put the fear of God into the analyst and his hedgie friends. One big fund which deals more in long term holdings (70% of Apple stock is held by funds) sold all it’s apple shares because according to the CEO “Apple does not defend it’s shares against manipulation”. (The recent buybacks might be seen as a move in aapl defence but compared to PR it’s expensive. PR is CHEAP).

    Apple’s reputation has been dragged through the gutter but Apple stays mum. Apple said nothing when NYT B.S itself to a Pulitzer attacking apple. Apple did not even send a letter to the editor correcting obvious errors. Recently again NYT ran article saying Apple was failing as China Mobile did nothing for it’s recent financials (of course China Mobile stats weren’t in the last financials but again from what I know Apple didn’t correct the article). Said nothing when Mike Daisey went around CNBC, CNN, NPR etc. Some say Daisey was not important but he was so popular programs like NPR wanted to devote entire hour programs to him and Woz was on stage opening his shows… Today press sources criticizing apple labour are STILL using Mike Daisey ‘facts’ in their reports..

    Multiply this a thousand times by all the other apple hate articles in the press, blogs etc. My local newspaper (like thousands around the world) prefaces every apple article with ‘failing tech company, lost innovation… ‘.

    For several years the only Apple PR (has done almost nothing). Hey apple maybe you can dust off the PR guys sleeping the corner and ask them to spend 10% of their time defending Apple and Apple stock holders huh?!

    Associated with PR there is Marketing. You can see the same ‘philosophy’ in marketing as well : don’t defend , don’t attack.

    Win 8 is a turd and is out for years yet apple does not attack it saying OSX is better to gain more market share. For all it’s woes Microsoft still makes billions off windows (go look at its financial reports). All the main stream press and ( the sales guys at Best Buy, Walmart I’ve talked to think OSX is the same or worse than windows) because apple PR and marketing don’t market and educate..

    they don’t even market iOS BIGGEST ADVANTAGE i.e that apple builds BOTH the software and hardware thus making a seamless whole. Most people in Asia etc think Samsung makes Android. Apple spent months delaying last years iMac because of ‘advanced glass’ bonding but when it came out didn’t market it at all (no mac ads for years) — nobody including the sales guys at best buy ,Walmart know the difference.

    Apple didn’t market the 64 bit chip or the fingerprint sensor , the biggest phone advances last year (!!! ) and now the opportunity is gone as the new Samsung phone has fingerprint sensor. SO THE PRESS LABELS APPLE HAS LOST ITS INNOVATION AND SO THE STOCK TANKS.

    (Apple marketing is so bad that even years after Thunderbolt launch my local Walmart super centre which carries Thunderbolt macs don’t have thunderbolt cables , the sales staff don’t know what Thunderbolt — major apple initiative — is and Walmart is one of the biggest apple resellers. Apple PR and Marketing does’t even bother to educate its biggest partners much less the press … )

    Note: Jobs was a Master salesman and PR guy, Cook hired Browett to lead apple retail….

    Samsung hires astro turfers (as exposed in the HTC lawsuit), gives prizes to bloggers who write positively about it, spends FOUR times apple in marketing (media companies tend not to criticize big customers), Google spends 9 times apple in lobbying and hires full time evangelists to travel the globe to promote itself and bash apple.. (Guy Kawasaki long time apple icon joined Google as an evangelist. )

    Yeah I know apple still sells a lot but thats because of good products, it can sell more with good marketing, and no one can deny the stock is in the pits.

    (PR it’s CHEAP. just hire a few dudes to send out press releases and update the apple info website etc ). Apple needs to up it’s promoting game otherwise top management will have to waste time with Icahns of the world and spend billions on buybacks.

    And final word on PR: We all know Good Politicians who Lost Elections due to Poor PR and Bad Politicians who Won Elections due to Great PR….

    (the reason I keep harping on this PR and marketing issue that as an ex Advertising guy I hope more people would talk about it –and I’m so wordy as I don’t want to be misunderstood — and it gets back to some person in apple who will push it upstairs).

      1. Do you NEED to read it?
        life is a choice, one GLANCE think it’s long don’t read… lol.

        But you find the NEED to piss on others: “long winded drivel” YET you don’t point out where you think I was wrong! Forums are ‘discussion’ for ‘ideas’ ….

        AND I also wrote at the point when I first posted, Apple hadn’t addressed a lot of stuff I brought up but it has begun to with new ads etc and more willingness to confront critics who are wrong like the author of ‘Haunted Empire’.

        Generally I’m happy with Apple’s direction and I love it’s products. I’m also a aapl investor so I have ‘skin in the game’ and long term faith in the company.

    1. Taking a chance re publishing that with the inevitable jibes in response but that which i read is fundamentally correct. I think Apple has quite rightly let its products do the talking but it does sniff of arrogance when they totally ignore the lies and mis representations being made against it in recent years in particular from Samsung. Some clever response would be nice.

  3. Some tricks I learned about writing – start off by finding a worthwhile thing to say, then just say it. Use as few words as possible to get your meaning across. Then add on topic details afterward to support your argument. Don’t just ramble on about who-knows-what – just make your case, then support it, and try not to waste too much of your reader’s time.

    1. I guess you must be addressing me although it’s not under the ‘reply’ column :

      I’ve found from years of forum posts if I’m not detailed like if I said ‘Apple P.R sucks’ and stop people do not understand and I’ll just get 20 one star ratings.

      People who are not aapl investors do not understand how some manipulate the stock for example unless I explain it. Even when I explain it people have criticized “So? What can Apple do about it?”, that’s why I wrote in detail about RIM’s example and other steps Apple can take etc.

      I guess I could have streamlined it but I want to be understood.. those who don’t like long posts , one glance and and they can see its length and do not need to read…
      People who are bored with “stocks, P.R or Sales” will be bored, those interested won’t .

      (seems like a significant number of positive ratings show enough intelligent people willing to plough through the arguments and understand)

      I’m an ex ad pro.

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