Apple has appointed its first managing director for Greater China, its current vice president of wireless technologies, Isabel Ge Mahe.
The job change is significant for two reasons: China is Apple’s most difficult market, and Isabel Ge Mahe is one of the few female senior executives at Apple.
She fills a newly created role of vice president and managing director of Greater China, and she will report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook and chief operating officer Jeff Williams. She starts the job this summer.
Apple hasn’t give away too much detail about Ge Mahe’s duties, except that she will provide “leadership and coordination across Apple’s China-based team.”
In a statement, Cook added that the company was “strongly committed to invest and grow in China.”
Historically, Apple has done well in China. It’s the company’s second-biggest market after the US and it generates 25% of Apple’s profits.
But recently, there’s been a blip. Revenue is declining, and Apple is losing market share to local, cheaper competition like Oppo, Vivo, and Huawei. According to Gartner figures, Apple has 14% market share in China.
It’s likely Ge Mahe will be tasked with reversing that trend.
Prior to the new role, she led Apple’s wireless team for almost a decade. She also oversaw the teams that worked on Apple’s payment system Apple Pay, smart home software HomeKit and driving platform CarPlay.
Ge Mahe was born in the northern Chinese city of Shenyang, speaks fluent Mandaron, and holds Electrical Engineering degrees and an MBA from Berkeley.