Apple's North American Sales VP Zane Rowe to Leave the Company

Apple's Vice President of Sales for North America, Zane Rowe, is leaving the company, and his duties will be assigned to Doug Beck who also manages sales in Japan and Korea. Mr. Rowe's planned departure followed news on Wednesday that PR executive Katie Cotton was leaving Apple, too.

Apple VP of sales for North America, Zane Rowe, is leaving the companyApple VP of sales for North America, Zane Rowe, is leaving the company

Mr. Rowe joined Apple in April 2012 after spending 19 years working for Continental Airlines. When Continental and United merged he became CFO, which made his decision to join Apple in a lesser role an interesting move. At the time, there was speculation that he joined Apple at a lower management position to be groomed for something bigger.

While overall sales in North America have been climbing, iPhone sales haven't been as strong as CEO Tim Cook would like. It's possible that has played some role in Mr. Rowe's decision to leave, although that isn't likely considering his departure seems planned instead of abrupt.

Mr. Beck's job will be busier once he adds North America to his responsibilities. Growth in Japan has been outpacing North America, but Mr. Rowe's territory accounts for a third of the company's sales.

Along with Mr. Rowe, Apple PR executive Katie Cotton is leaving the company after 18 years. She is leaving to spend time with her family, and will transition out of the company in the near future.

Apple hasn't said when Mr. Rowe will be leaving.

[Thanks to the Wall Street Journal for the heads up]