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United Continental exec hired by Apple

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Former United Continental Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Zane Rowe will be joining the ranks at Apple, and will reportedly be one of the Cupertino, Calif., company's vice presidents of sales.

Rowe is leaving his position as executive vice president and CFO of United Continental Holdings Inc., the company which owns major U.S. airlines United and Continental, at which he served since the two carriers merged in 2010 for a job at Cupertino, reports All Things D.

“We are thrilled that Zane Rowe will be joining us as one of our vice presidents of sales,” Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said. “He built a great team at United and we think he is going to do a fantastic job at Apple.”

Previous to his tenure at United Continental, Rowe first joined Continental in 1993 as a vice president of financial planning and analysis, ultimately becaming the company's executive vice president and CFO in 2008.

It is unclear as to what segment Rowe will be heading or when his term will begin.


New Apple Vice President of Sales Zane Rowe. | Source: All Things D



[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 41
CFO, financial planning and analysis, airlines...... to sales, Apple?!

post #3 of 41
Steve Jobs never wanted B players on his A team. I guess the current suits see things differently.
post #4 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Steve Jobs never wanted B players on his A team. I guess the current suits see things differently.

How do you know that he's a "B" player? Executive VP and CFO at United, while a little odd for a sales VP position at Apple, is a pretty impressive credential. He may be put into strictly the financial and planning aspects of sales and inventory management and stuff like that. I'm sure Apple didn't just pluck him out of the blue.
post #5 of 41
This person may have started at Continental in 1993, but, seeing as he was only 21 then, it isn't likely that he started "as a vice president of financial planning and analysis"...

Although, if he did, maybe he does qualify as an a-list-er!

Apple does have a huge patch to manage now, but I wouldn't like to see them get too far ,or at least too often, away from the tech field, into the typical corporate "revolving musical executives" approach. I would think that that would be the most effective way quickly to dilute and destroy the unique culture of Apple.
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexkhan2000 View Post

I'm sure Apple didn't just pluck him out of the blue.

No, it was the wild blue yonder
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

CFO, financial planning and analysis, airlines...... to sales, Apple?!


Let's wait to see what his responsibilities are.

For example, if he were targeted at C-level execs at Enterprise customers, his CFO, planning, and analysis experience might be right on the money.
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post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

CFO, financial planning and analysis, airlines...... to sales, Apple?!


Never mind, post self deleted...
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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by boredumb View Post

No, it was the wild blue yonder



Seriously, the guy must be a major numbers wiz. You see those types every now and then in companies of all ilk and size. Apple's numbers are starting to get into the astronomical range now and I can see that Apple needs managers who know how to deal with some really big numbers very quickly. That's my take on it.
post #10 of 41
This is all about the iPlane
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post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Steve Jobs never wanted B players on his A team. I guess the current suits see things differently.

Yes.. I'm sure a guy who was EVP and CFO at one of the biggest airline company to take a lower ranking position at Apple is a "B" player.
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

CFO, financial planning and analysis, airlines...... to sales, Apple?!


I wonder if he is CFO-in-waiting to replace Oppenheimer some day.
post #13 of 41
Mini iPlane next year. Then iPlane nano.
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post #14 of 41
They have got to be kidding. The airline business thrives on abusing its customer base with a business model as close to legalized theft as one could be. I reluctantly flew UAL "first class" from Asia to SFO as no other airline was available. The scallops they served were off and the service left much to be desired. It is hard to imagine that an A player can be found in the airlines other then the likes of JetBlue or South West where the last vestige of pro-customer still survives, albeit in a new age sort of way. I hope this is not a trend as I feel it does not bode well with everything Steve Jobs spent his life to promote.
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Mac View Post

They have got to be kidding. The airline business thrives on abusing its customer base with a business model as close to legalized theft as one could be. I reluctantly flew UAL "first class" from Asia to SFO as no other airline was available. The scallops they served were off and the service left much to be desired. It is hard to imagine that an A player can be found in the airlines other then the likes of JetBlue or South West where the last vestige of pro-customer still survives, albeit in a new age sort of way. I hope this is not a trend as I feel it does not bode well with everything Steve Jobs spent his life to promote.

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post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

I wonder if he is CFO-in-waiting to replace Oppenheimer some day.

In sales?
post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Mac View Post

They have got to be kidding. The airline business thrives on abusing its customer base with a business model as close to legalized theft as one could be. I reluctantly flew UAL "first class" from Asia to SFO as no other airline was available. The scallops they served were off and the service left much to be desired. It is hard to imagine that an A player can be found in the airlines other then the likes of JetBlue or South West where the last vestige of pro-customer still survives, albeit in a new age sort of way. I hope this is not a trend as I feel it does not bode well with everything Steve Jobs spent his life to promote.

Exactly. It's worse than the worst of the telecom service provider industry and the cable industry combined.
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Mac View Post

They have got to be kidding. The airline business thrives on abusing its customer base with a business model as close to legalized theft as one could be. I reluctantly flew UAL "first class" from Asia to SFO as no other airline was available. The scallops they served were off and the service left much to be desired. It is hard to imagine that an A player can be found in the airlines other then the likes of JetBlue or South West where the last vestige of pro-customer still survives, albeit in a new age sort of way. I hope this is not a trend as I feel it does not bode well with everything Steve Jobs spent his life to promote.

Well if you eat scallops so long after they were caught you aren't "first class".

Regardless, IT has a habit of treating their customers as milk cattle, calling us back to the nose bag for the next installment of grain while the suction cups do their business.
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post #19 of 41
WTF IS GOING ON AT APPLE?! Does anybody remember that UNITED F***ING AIRLINES WENT BANKRUPT?!?! And United Airlines has singlehandedly treated me worse than any other corporation on this entire planet... on NUMEROUS OCCASSIONS, because I was stupid enough to give them multiple chances. Most recently, United Airlines canceled my entire reservation due to their "merger" with Continental, and they NEVER EVEN BOTHERED TO TELL ME THAT IT WAS CANCELED!! I discovered this one week before my trip and called their customer service line to see where my reservation went, the woman didn't even apologize. She just said, "Some reservations got lost during the merger and none of us were well-trained on how to deal with this." She found me a replacement reservation that had FOUR (4!!!) connecting flights from Austin to LA, and I said NO THANK YOU... I found the flight on Southwest, nonstop, for $350. So she said she would refund me for the canceled reservation, and here I am 5 months later with no refund. I've called several times, emailed several times, and even sent letters in the mail. Nothing. I will NEVER FLY with United again. AND NOW THIS MOTHER FCUKING EXECUTIVE FROM THAT MOTHER FCKUING company is coming to Apple?! Steve Jobs would have NEVER EVER EVER ALLOWED THIS IN A MILLION YEARS.
post #20 of 41
Relax, it's just one guy
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post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Relax, it's just one guy

No, it's not just one guy. It's a new way of thinking at Apple. It's this guy, plus the Symantec guy, plus the Dixon's guy. None of these D-class bozos should be coming anywhere NEAR a world-class company like Apple, but apparently Tim Cook is intent on destroying Steve's legacy. Way to go, Tim.
post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

No, it's not just one guy. It's a new way of thinking at Apple. It's this guy, plus the Symantec guy, plus the Dixon's guy. None of these D-class bozos should be coming anywhere NEAR a world-class company like Apple, but apparently Tim Cook is intent on destroying Steve's legacy. Way to go, Tim.

If your so smart why aren't you the CEO of a company. I love all these internet posters who think they know better than Tim Cook how to run Apple.
post #23 of 41
United, you gotta be kidding!

They have the worse customer service on the planet!

Check out this video:

http://consumerist.com/2009/07/unite...s-guitars.html

I hope United's apathy for customer service didn't go with him to Apple.

And please don't say he has nothing to do with customer service. Customer service is everyone's job. It's a corporate culture. That's why Apple is consistently rated high by its customers.

And that tie has gotta go!!
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

WTF IS GOING ON AT APPLE?! Does anybody remember that UNITED F***ING AIRLINES WENT BANKRUPT?!?! And United Airlines has singlehandedly treated me worse than any other corporation on this entire planet... on NUMEROUS OCCASSIONS, because I was stupid enough to give them multiple chances. Most recently, United Airlines canceled my entire reservation due to their "merger" with Continental, and they NEVER EVEN BOTHERED TO TELL ME THAT IT WAS CANCELED!! I discovered this one week before my trip and called their customer service line to see where my reservation went, the woman didn't even apologize. She just said, "Some reservations got lost during the merger and none of us were well-trained on how to deal with this." She found me a replacement reservation that had FOUR (4!!!) connecting flights from Austin to LA, and I said NO THANK YOU... I found the flight on Southwest, nonstop, for $350. So she said she would refund me for the canceled reservation, and here I am 5 months later with no refund. I've called several times, emailed several times, and even sent letters in the mail. Nothing. I will NEVER FLY with United again. AND NOW THIS MOTHER FCUKING EXECUTIVE FROM THAT MOTHER FCKUING company is coming to Apple?! Steve Jobs would have NEVER EVER EVER ALLOWED THIS IN A MILLION YEARS.

Do you know anything about the airline industry or even read the article? This guy wasn't at United when they declared Chapter 11. He's been at Continental the past 18 or 19 years which, IMHO, has been the best-run major US airline (and I fly a lot).

(edit -- most of the airlines' financial problems have been linked to legacy labor contracts that made them non-competitive. They weren't able to outsource their pilot crews to Foxconn, thank goodness!)

People complain about the airlines taking away amenities over the years so I suppose he'll fit in perfectly at Apple. Remember back when we got free telephone support for as long as we owned our Mac? What is it now? 90 days?
post #25 of 41
Congrats!
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

... They weren't able to outsource their pilot crews to Foxconn, thank goodness!)

They are able to for some of "their" flights ... you might want to google Continental crash buffalo, NY for how well that works out
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post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexkhan2000 View Post

How do you know that he's a "B" player? Executive VP and CFO at United, while a little odd for a sales VP position at Apple, is a pretty impressive credential. He may be put into strictly the financial and planning aspects of sales and inventory management and stuff like that. I'm sure Apple didn't just pluck him out of the blue.

You know nothing about Sales the moment you mentioned Inventory Management. He'd report to the Chief of Operations if that were what he planned on doing.

The only thing I can imagine they want from this guy is inroads into more Enterprises to expand their coverage and with a guy that has extensive relations with all Fortune 1000 corporations [They all travel] it makes sense to tap his mind while everyone under him actually does the Sales.

This guy won't be cold calling. He's about the high level view and steering of Sales in a way that will meet the areas the Board and the CEO feel Apple needs to address.
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

You know nothing about Sales the moment you mentioned Inventory Management. He'd report to the Chief of Operations if that were what he planned on doing.

The only thing I can imagine they want from this guy is inroads into more Enterprises to expand their coverage and with a guy that has extensive relations with all Fortune 1000 corporations [They all travel] it makes sense to tap his mind while everyone under him actually does the Sales.

This guy won't be cold calling. He's about the high level view and steering of Sales in a way that will meet the areas the Board and the CEO feel Apple needs to address.

Umm... sales and inventory management is what Tim Cook did as COO but I guess you didn't know that. I'm posting Apple's unofficial 'org chart' during the Jobs era. Sales in large corporations is essentially about getting rid of inventory. I've worked in large companies as well.

Seriously, what can a CFO at an airline company do in terms of selling to other enterprises? Your logic makes zero sense.

post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexkhan2000 View Post

Umm... sales and inventory management is what Tim Cook did as COO but I guess you didn't know that. I'm posting Apple's unofficial 'org chart' during the Jobs era. Sales in large corporations is essentially about getting rid of inventory. I've worked in large companies as well.

Seriously, what can a CFO at an airline company do in terms of selling to other enterprises? Your logic makes zero sense.




Good points.
post #30 of 41
Well, we know United / Continental just purchased thousands of ipads to issue to their pilots. I wouldn't be surprised if this guy wasn't involved in some inside deal along those lines when he was still at his former position.

Airline management mentality is all about fattening their own wallets....customers and employees be damned. So hopefully they will just lock this guy in a room somewhere where he can count beans instead of have any influence on those people.
post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexkhan2000 View Post

Umm... sales and inventory management is what Tim Cook did as COO but I guess you didn't know that. I'm posting Apple's unofficial 'org chart' during the Jobs era. Sales in large corporations is essentially about getting rid of inventory. I've worked in large companies as well.

You couldn't be further from the truth. Sales is not about inventory management at all. Look at Apple's balance sheet - they don't even have inventory to speak of. Most of their products are made to order or standard products that sell so fast that there's no chance for inventory to build up.

Sales is about getting rid of inventory only if you have a bad inventory management team -and that's clearly not the case at Apple. There, sales is about building the brand image and positioning products so that they sell themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexkhan2000 View Post

Seriously, what can a CFO at an airline company do in terms of selling to other enterprises? Your logic makes zero sense.

He speaks their language. Former CFO of United is an instant foot in the door at many places and with a VP of Apple on his current business card, he can get a lot of places that others can't.

Apple's problem with Enterprise sales has been their inability to translate the value of Apple products into something the average dollar-focused CEO or CFO can understand. Rowe will have the ability to do that because he's been there. If anyone can convince bean counters that the ease of use, reliability, and consistency of Apple products will pay off in the long run, it would be another big-league CFO.

United's bankruptcy won't count against him. Virtually every airline has gone bankrupt - most of them recently - and the reasons are almost always entirely beyond the control of the CFO. The entire industry is built on an unsustainable "we'll be cheaper than the other guy and cut services until we manage that" model which the CFO did not define. Furthermore, if you look at the U.S. airlines, United actually has a decent position. Their finances are OK and their brand image is better than most. Or, realistically, given my experience in over 3 million air miles of travel, United is less bad than most.
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post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by guppy737 View Post

Well, we know United / Continental just purchased thousands of ipads to issue to their pilots. I wouldn't be surprised if this guy wasn't involved in some inside deal along those lines when he was still at his former position.

Airline management mentality is all about fattening their own wallets....customers and employees be damned. So hopefully they will just lock this guy in a room somewhere where he can count beans instead of have any influence on those people.

You really ought to be more careful before making criminal accusations. If he did what you are suggesting, it would be a felony and he could be facing jail time. What's your evidence?
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post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

You really ought to be more careful before making criminal accusations. If he did what you are suggesting, it would be a felony and he could be facing jail time. What's your evidence?

Which felony did you have in mind?
post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

...United's bankruptcy won't count against him...

No kidding Sherlock!... The guy wasn't even working at United while they were in bankruptcy. ... He was woking for Continental at that point in time (and he was still in diapers when Continental was last in bankruptcy court ... he's smart to get out before the combined United ends up back there.)



Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

You really ought to be more careful before making criminal accusations. If he did what you are suggesting, it would be a felony and he could be facing jail time. What's your evidence?

What he suggested was not criminal ... making deals with suppliers is part of the job at any business... and if that "deal" got his foot in the door to a new (better) job, there's nothing criminal in that.
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post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

They are able to for some of "their" flights ... you might want to google Continental crash buffalo, NY for how well that works out

Are you saying only regional airlines flying under contract to majors have had an accident? Well... there is no major airline that never had an accident.

There are all kinds of places that wouldn't have any air service at all or, best case, substantially reduced service if there was no such thing as regional airlines flying under contract to major carriers. Separate to that, flying is safer now than it has ever been and the statistics prove that point rather dramatically. BTW, Colgan Airlines (Continental Connection crash in Buffalo) is going out of business.
post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Which felony did you have in mind?

As a senior executive, receiving personal benefit from a deal without disclosing it would be a criminal SEC violation.
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post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

As a senior executive, receiving personal benefit from a deal without disclosing it would be a criminal SEC violation.

Thats really doesn't apply to getting hired later, though, by the company you were an evangelist for within your company. Thats standard practice. Apple is going to soon his ex-military and other government types. We now know what this guys is there for, he is enterprise sales with a focus on airlines, and he will, no doubt, be good at it.
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post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

Are you saying only regional airlines flying under contract to majors have had an accident? Well... there is no major airline that never had an accident.

There are all kinds of places that wouldn't have any air service at all or, best case, substantially reduced service if there was no such thing as regional airlines flying under contract to major carriers. Separate to that, flying is safer now than it has ever been and the statistics prove that point rather dramatically. BTW, Colgan Airlines (Continental Connection crash in Buffalo) is going out of business.

They're not going out of business... they were bought by and are being merged into Pinnacle Airlines... which filed for bankruptcy protection last week... not the same as "going out of business".

If those "places" have a market for air-service, they'd still get it.
If they don't, then they'd STILL get it ... even under the current structure, most "small town air service" is still federally subsidized as "Essential Air Service".
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post #39 of 41
I'm going to go out on a wild limb here:

Perhaps this has something to do with the iPad:
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...128240343.html
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by z3r0 View Post

I'm going to go out on a wild limb here:

Perhaps this has something to do with the iPad:
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...128240343.html

Hugely inaccurate article.

The iPads (2's) are only this week finally being distributed to pilots.

They are NOT replacing aeronautical charts!... they are only replacing company manuals.

The flight deck will still contain exactly the same amount of paper as it did last year... with the addition of a couple of iPads.

Now... eventually they expect approval for the iPad to completely replace the paper manuals, but in the meantime, the paper versions must still be carried along with the iPad.
Even further down the road, they expect the navigation charts to be replaced by the iPads, but that's not happening at all right now. (Expected in two years or so.)

Is it a good move in the right direction?... sure!... but it isn't happening at all as fast as they would like you to believe. New and better technology is implemented extremely slowly. But the announcement is sent out to the press as if it's being put in place today.


Now... could this guy's ability to secure a deal for the purchase of 12000+ iPads have been worth a gold star on his job application at Apple ? ... it sure couldn't have hurt!

(Yes, I know he probably didn't actually fill out a job application ... I was being facetious.)
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