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Apple Computer Japan President Suddenly Resigns

November 16, 1993

TOKYO (AP) _ The president of Apple Computer Inc.’s most successful overseas subsidiary has suddenly resigned, creating more instability for the computer makers as it faces lower profits at home and a difficult transition to new technology.

As president of Apple Computer Japan, Shigechika Takeuchi helped make Apple’s Macintosh the third best-selling personal computer brand in Japan last year, behind NEC and Fujitsu.

The Japanese subsidiary’s sales have risen rapidly in recent years and are expected to surpass $1 billion in 1994.

Takeuchi, 48, decided to leave ″because it was time for a new challenge,″ Apple Japan spokeswoman Sachiko Wakabayashi said today.

He resigned Monday as head of the Japanese subsidiary and as vice president of the parent company but will continue to act as an adviser to Apple Pacific, she said.

John Floisand, president of Apple Pacific, will serve as acting president of Apple Computer Japan until a new president is selected, she said.

Selection of a permanent successor could take six months, Japanese news reports said.

The Japanese market is the largest outside the United States for Apple, and has been one of the American company’s few bright spots in the past year.

Apple’s profits have slipped in the United States because of increased competition from low-cost IBM-compatible computers. Apple also is in the process of redesigning its computers around a more powerful microprocessor called the PowerPC, and many customers have delayed purchases as a result.

Apple’s troubles led to the resignation earlier this year of John Sculley, who had been the company’s CEO since 1984.

After its founding in 1983, Apple Computer Japan floundered under a series of foreign managers, and was known for poor service and support until Takeuchi joined as president in 1989.

Under Takeuchi, the company improved its Japanese-language operating system, encouraged software companies to develop Japanese programs, and signed up an army of about 60 authorized distributors.

About 10 different magazines devoted to the Macintosh are now being published in Japan.

Before joining Apple, Takeuchi spent more than 20 years with Toshiba Corp. and helped launch its computer business in the United States.