Expected cuts throughout Apple's worldwide operations have hit Apple Australia, resulting in a structural reorganisation of the local operation and the loss of 19 staff.
General manager Steve Rust told ARN that the company will now operate around user groupings rather than state boundaries. He has appointed national managers for the enterprise, publishing, and consumer markets.
Particular focus will be given to the education market, which continues to be a strong area for Apple. This has been spilt in primary/secondary and higher education groupings.
To accommodate the changes Apple Australia has retrenched 19 of its 145 permanent staff, and nine full-time contractors, bringing the company down to about two-thirds of its peak size.
However, of the Apple Asia staff, only three retrenchments were made (all based in Sydney). Rust explained that although Australian sales were the largest in the region, "We're only just scratching the surface in countries like China and India, so we'd hardly be laying off staff."
Rust said he made the announcement in Australia prior to the worldwide announcement so retrenched employees would have time to say goodbye to their friends, rather than having to sweep their desks into cardboard boxes as they left on Friday afternoon. "These were loyal Apple employees, and it wasn't an easy thing to do, but it had to be done to reduce our overheads in line with current margin levels," said Rust.
He was at pains to emphasise that the changes won't impact Apple's reseller channel. In fact, when combined with recent changes such as the EPO online ordering system, Rust says resellers will be better served.