As part of the ongoing reorganization of its India executive team, Apple has reportedly appointed Nokia executive Ashish Chowdhary as its new head of India operations. The move was first reported by news outlet IANS, citing industry sources.
Chowdhary will reportedly join Apple’s India team starting in January of 2019. This aligns with a statement released by Nokia today, in which it said that Chowdhary is departing the company at the end of 2018 (via The Economic Times):
“Chowdhary will continue to lead Customer Operations and remain a member of the Nokia Group Leadership Team until the end of 2018. He will then leave Nokia to take a leadership position in another company,” said Nokia.
Chowdhary has served as the Chief Customer Operations Officer at Nokia Networks – a wholly owned subsidiary of Nokia – for the past 15 years. Apple is said to have hired Chowdhary thanks to his local knowledge of the smartphone and technology industry in India.
The hiring of Ashish Chowdhary comes as Apple is rebuilding much of its India team. Back in July, it was reported that Apple had lost a trio of key executives in the country. At the same time, it was said that Michel Coulomb – Apple’s now outgoing India head, who originally took the position in December 2017 – was struggling in the role.
Apple’s efforts in India have not gone according to plan recently, with iPhone sales set to fall year-over-year this year for the first time in four years. Despite these struggles, however, Tim Cook has remained optimistic about Apple’s future in India, saying the company has “had really productive discussions with the Indian government” about the possibility of opening retail stores in the country.