Apple appoints Isabel Ge Mahe as managing director of Greater China

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Apple on Tuesday named vice president of wireless technologies Isabel Ge Mahe as managing director of Greater China, where she will report to CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams.

Under the newly created role, Mahe will lead and coordinate Apple’s team in China, the company said in a prepared statement.

“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. “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.”

In her previous position, Mahe worked on various wireless technologies including cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, near-field communication, location and motion, as well as overseeing engineering teams developing Apple Pay, HomeKit and CarPlay. She served as VP of wireless technologies for nine years.

Mahe was born in Shenyang, Liaoning, and is fluent in Mandarin. She earned both Bachelor and Master of Electrical Engineering degrees from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and holds an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, where she also serves as an industry advisor to the school’s EE/CS department.

“I’m honored to have this opportunity to represent Apple in China and work more closely with our incredibly talented team,” Mahe said. “Everyone at Apple is proud of the contributions we make to the communities where we do business, and I am looking forward to deepening our team’s connections with customers, government and businesses in China to advance innovation and sustainability.”

Mahe is a veteran of the wireless industry, according to her LinkedIn profile. She served as VP of wireless software engineering at Palm from 2002 to 2008, during which time she became an advisor at the Silicon Valley-China Wireless Technology Association, a position she continues to hold.

She will take over Greater China operations at Apple’s Shanghai office later this summer, Apple said.

Apple’s new appointment comes at a critical juncture as it seeks to plant deep roots in one of the world’s largest burgeoning economies. The company’s important iPhone business has seen recent declines in the region thanks to low-end domestic handsets running Android, though it continues to dominate the high-end handset segment.

Most recently, Apple opened its first data center in China in compliance with the country’s strict cybersecurity laws. The newly ratified rules require foreign firms store sensitive data on domestic servers, and must likewise pass security reviews before transferring said data out of the country.