Guerrina De Luca, executive vice president of marketing at Apple Computer, has resigned just days after the company?s new-look board of directors held its first meeting. Sources blamed a split with interim chief executive Steve Jobs over licensing to clonemakers.
The Italian was previously president of Apple?s software subsidiary, Claris, for two years and worked at Olivetti for over 10 years in a variety of roles. He was at the main Apple company for just seven months.
De Luca claimed he had made the decision to leave himself, for the predictable "personal reasons". He was the only recognised senior marketeer at the company, according to analysts, and was brought in to turn around a function that was heavily criticised for many months as Apple?s sales fell.
"This is a personal decision which does not reflect my assessment of the company?s prospects. We are seeing a lot of changes at Apple and I?m confident that Apple will shine again," said De Luca, echoing the line that many departing executives have taken recently.
Sources suggested De Luca was unhappy with the decision of interim chief executive Steve Jobs to terminate agreements with cloners. At the Mac OS 8 launch in July, De Luca refused to say when Apple would agree terms to license the updated operating system to clonemakers but seemed keen that it should do so. A few weeks later, Jobs described cloners as "leeches" and began trying to dismantle agreements with them, although some won short term rights to sell OS 8.
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