Just days before it was due to announce big lay-offs, Apple had to come to terms with the resignation of two more senior executives and analysts predicting higher than expected second-quarter losses.
For the quarter ending 31 March, analysts say they expect Apple to post losses of up to $900 million (#562 million), exceeding the record $740 million loss reported in the same quarter last year. The results are due out in mid-April.
Apple faces restructuring charges to cover the lay-offs, which are expected to involve the loss of between 2,000 and 5,000 staff worldwide. It also faces a charge of around $385 million for its $430 million acquisition of NeXT, say analysts. The figures are expected to show an operating loss of around $100 million, as well as a year-on-year revenue drop of $1 billion.
Wall Street analysts have said Apple must cut $400 million from its operating costs this year if it is to return to profit by September as CEO Gil Amelio has promised. They also warn that Apple must eliminate certain unprofitable divisions.
The two executives leaving Apple were both based in the US. Robin Abrams, head of Apple Americas, resigned earlier this month. He stood in temporarily as executive vice-president of worldwide sales and service, prior to the appointment of David Manovich.
Pieter Hartsook, vice president of marketing and research since last November, is due to leave a few months after the completion of Apple's reorganisation. Hartsook is to become an external consultant, and may provide further services to the company.
Following meetings with Guerrino De Luca, Apple's executive vice president of marketing, Hartsook is reported to have said: "We decided that my value to Apple and to the Mac community is as a strategic analyst and not as an Apple manager."
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