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Apple marketing chief quits

VW Beetle marketeer beetles off

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Apple's VP of Marketing Communication, Steve Wilhite, has quit the company.

No reason was given for his departure, though he is believed to have resigned rather than fired. That said, given the poor sales of CEO Steve Jobs' new baby, the Power Mac G4 Cube, there has been some turmoil within Apple's sales and marketing operations, and it's entirely feasible that that sealed Wilhite's fate.

The shake-up seems to have claimed the scalp of sales supremo Mitch Mandich who quit in October to "spend more time with his family", which is probably the most euphemistic excuse we've ever heard.

Wilhite joined Apple back in April 1999, having left Volkswagen US, where he drove that company's launch of the new Beetle, with considerable success we recall.

Wilhite was top of Apple's marketing totem pole, answering only to Jobs. At the time, Apple's spin meisters described Wilhite's and his role as "the man singularly responsible for protecting and promoting the Apple brand".

Presumably Jobs is back running the marketing operation, as he was before Wilhite's appointment. Certainly Apple has yet to find a replacement for the ex-Beetle man.

Jobs may feel that Apple's marketing needs his special touch - this is the fellow who is reputed in his recent unauthorised biography to have blubbed when he first say ad agency Chiat-Day's 'Think Different' campaign.

Chiat-Day itself has seen some turmoil of late, with Creative Director Ken Segall bailing out. Segall oversaw Apple's advertising. ®

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