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Apple hires United Continental CFO as VP of Sales (after airline replaces paper manuals with iPads)

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AllThingsD notes that Apple has hired away Zane Rowe, United Continental's executive VP and Chief Financial Officer, to work as a new Vice President of Sales for the company. Rowe, 40, had been with Continental since 1993. In 2003, he was appointed as a Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis at the airline and in 2008 became Continental's CFO. With the merger of UAL and Continental in 2010 United Continental, the worlds largest airline, was formed with Rowe becoming the new company's CFO.

There's no word yet on exactly which sales division Rowe will be in charge of at Apple, but the Cupertino company did release a short statement to AllThingsD about Rowe's hiring:

"We are thrilled that Zane Rowe will be joining us as one of our vice presidents of sales. He built a great team at United and we think he is going to do a fantastic job at Apple."

Interestingly in August 2011 United Continental decided to start giving all their 11,000 pilots iPads loaded with electronic documentation. Each iPad saved the airline 38 pounds of documentation per flight, which over the long run will help reduce fuel costs. There's no word if Rowe was specifically involved in this decision, but its possible this is how he came to the attention of Apple.

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