Mitch Mandich, Apple's most senior sales manager, is to quit the company to "spend more time with his family".
In the UK, that's become a popular euphemism for leaving under a cloud - primarily because the fellow who's 'resigned' has in fact been fired. We're sure that's not the case with Mandich, not least since he'll be working through to the end of December. At that point, Apple's senior VP of operations, Tim Cook, will assume Mandich's responsibilities until a replacement is announced.
However, Mandich's departure from his role as senior VP for worldwide sales does follow Apple's now notorious profit warning, which has been blamed primarily on poor sales to the education market - a traditional Apple stronghold - and problems persuading people to buy the Power Mac Cube.
Following the profit warning, Apple CFO Fred Anderson said the company was reviewing its strategy and gameplan going forward, and it's possible that Mandich's decision to go has been prompted by that review.
"I can't confirm that," an Apple spokesperson told Apple-watching Web site MacCentral, when asked if there was a connection between Mandich's departure and the profit warning. That's not, you'll note, exactly a fervent denial. It's certainly hard not to believe the two events are related, even if it's only a matter of Mandich deciding Apple's problems are a sign that it's probably time to move on.
When CEO Steve Jobs told Apple employees there would be a hiring freeze at the company, he noted at least one exception: in "key areas" of the company. That could be a reference to senior staffers leaving after the company's strategy review.
Mandich joined Apple in 1997, part of the influx of senior NeXT staffers brought in when the two companies merged. ®