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Apple names a new iPod chief and a COO, too

Jon Rubinstein, head of the marquee iPod unit, plans to retire. Also: Tim Cook takes on the COO post.

Apple Computer's rapidly growing iPod business will get a new leader next year when the current head of the division retires.

Tony Fadell, head of iPod engineering, will succeed Jon Rubinstein as senior vice president of the iPod division next year, the company said on Friday. Rubinstein plans to retire in March.

The company also announced the appointment of a chief operating officer, assigning Tim Cook, its chief of sales, to the post. Cook briefly took over as acting chief executive when Apple boss Steve Jobs underwent cancer treatment last year.

Tim Cook

Cook, who joined Apple in 1998, has been executive vice president of worldwide sales and operations for the past three years. He will continue to oversee global sales and lead the company's Macintosh division.

"Tim has been doing this job for over two years now, and it's high time we officially recognized it with this promotion," Jobs said in a statement.

Fadell joined Apple in 2001 to work on the iPod. Before that, he worked at Philips Electronics and General Magic. "Tony has been doing a superb job running a large part of the iPod engineering team, and we're expecting a very smooth transition," Jobs said in a statement.

Apple unveiled a new iPod this week that plays videos. The iconic music player has fueled Apple's resurgence in recent years. The company sold about 6.5 million iPods from July through September, about three times as many as in the same period a year ago.