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Apple to merge engineering leadership

As it strives to pump out its new laptop computers, the company plans to consolidate its notebook and desktop engineering under one executive.

As Apple strives to pump out its new laptop computers, the company plans to consolidate its notebook and desktop engineering under one executive.

Mark Foster, head of Apple's notebook development efforts, will leave the company, and his duties will shift to Glen Miranker, who oversees desktop systems engineering.

"Mark Foster will be leaving as part of an organizational change in hardware engineering," said Greg Jones, an Apple spokesman.

The company declined further comment on why it feels an organizational change is necessary, the impact to the development efforts for both divisions, and whether any charges from the realignment may occur in the future.

Both Foster and Miranker also declined comment about the changes.

Foster's departure comes at a time when Apple is experiencing a delay in getting customers the latest PowerBooks. A number of customers have complained that they expected to get the new laptops by May 20--but major resellers are now forecasting that the notebooks won't arrive until later this month.

And last year, the computer maker faced ongoing delays with the availability of its popular, faster PowerBooks. This issue lasted several months.

Apple is also working on a new line of consumer notebooks to round out its offerings. Expectations for Apple's entry into the consumer market have been on the rise since interim chief executive Steve Jobs last year announced such plans. According to the Nikkei Business Publications online edition, Apple is expected to begin production this month.

PowerBook Zone, which reported Foster's resignation yesterday, cited sources as attributing his resignation to conflicts with Jon Rubinstein, Apple's senior vice president of hardware engineering.