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Landi latest to go at Apple

Marco Landi, head of worldwide sales, is the newest in a string of executive casualties.

The executive roster at Apple Computer (AAPL) is being depleted day by day.

The latest casualty is Marco Landi, executive vice president for worldwide sales, who resigned yesterday after a complete restructuring of the sales organization.

Landi was until recently the No. 2 at Apple after CEO Gil Amelio. As the former chief operating officer, Landi was in charge of Apple's overall business plans.

But his duties were reduced to taking care of the worldwide sales and support organization as part of a major reorganization announced two weeks ago.

"When Apple America didn't hit its numbers, it wasn't a surprise to everyone that he would be offered a job where he would do just sales and service after that," said a source. "But what surprised everyone was that he accepted the job. It was thought that his ego was too big to take it. So, it's a surprise that he's announced his resignation now."

Landi was described to be angry and bitter when he was demoted, according to sources. The executive, who was in his office this morning to gather his items, declined to comment on his departure.

But sources said the usually lively and boisterous Landi was somber as he told them of his plans to resign. Others who know Landi were surprised by his resignation.

Amelio, speaking at Macworld in Japan, made no comment on Landi"s departure.

Apple has also recently lost Satjiv Chahil, former head of corporate worldwide marketing; John Floisand, senior vice president for worldwide sales; and Fred Forsyth, senior vice president of Apple's Power Mac operations.

Landi departed as the struggling computer maker outlined further details on its consolidation efforts for its worldwide sales and support organization.

Robin Abrams, previously senior vice president of Apple Americas, will serve as acting executive vice president of the new worldwide sales and support organization.

It was just last May that Landi was named chief operations officer by Amelio. Landi, who joined Apple in 1995, had previously proved his might as president of Apple Europe. Landi and the other executives that were named to Amelio's new management team last year were appointed to stop the company from hemorrhaging red ink.

"We are shaping our sales organization to put the responsibility for sales and support closer to our customer," Amelio said in a statement. "A number of activities which previously joined with the sales organization--engineering, manufacturing, operations, marketing, and product business management--have moved into global, functional groups.

"Apple's sales organization now focuses on one thing and one thing only: sales and support to serve our customers and fulfill their demand worldwide."

Under the restructuring, Apple will divide its sales operations based on geography and key markets.

The North America business division will focus on publishing, entertainment, new media, enterprise, and engineering. It will also include Next Sales and Professional Services. Mitch Manditch will serve as acting as head for the division.

Apple's North America education division will be headed by Mike Lorion, who will focus on projects involving schools.

The North America consumer division, led by H.L. Cheung, will focus on the consumer and the Macintosh Installed Base.

Meanwhile, Apple's Europe, Middle East, and Africa operations will be led by Jan Larsen; its Japan sales force and market will be headed by Tetsuya Shiga.

Steve Vamos will head Apple's Asia-Pacific market, while its Latin America market will be overseen by Luis Rubio.

Apple is looking to cut $400 million in operating expenses this year and has said it will announce its restructuring plan and layoffs by the end of March.