Apple has appointed its first managing director for the Chinese market, which has become a vital part of its business over the last five years.
Isabel Ge Mahe was previously Apple's vice president of Wireless Technologies, having led the company's software engineering teams in that area for nine years. That included working on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, location and motion technologies on the majority of Apple products.
Her new position, MD of Greater China, is new to Apple's management structure, reflecting the importance that growth in that region holds for the company's future. Ge Mahe will report directly to CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams when she starts in her new role later in the summer.
"Apple is strongly committed to invest and grow in China, and we are thrilled that Isabel will be bringing her experience and leadership to our China team," Cook said in a statement. "She has dedicated a great deal of her time in recent years to delivering innovation for the benefit of Apple customers in China, and we look forward to making even greater contributions under her leadership."
"Everyone at Apple is proud of the contributions we make to the communities where we do business," Ge Mahe added. "I am looking forward to deepening our team's connections with customers, government and businesses in China to advance innovation and sustainability."
China has been Apple's biggest market outside of the US since early 2015, which capped several years of rapid growth in the region. According to Recode, Apple earned $61 billion in China in calendar 2015, but each of the last five quarters has shown a year-on-year decline.