The retired Wendy Hayes takes over for Derek Smith after a two year absence

New Apple Canada president a familiar face

After a two and a half year absence from the Canadian IT industry, Wendy Hayes is back as the president of Apple Canada (NASDAQ: AAPL), according to a source close to the situation.

Hayes, who ran Apple Canada for more than a decade, retired in early 2009. She was replaced by long time HP Canada senior executive Derek Smith.

Smith left Apple Canada during the summer and his spot was left vacant for a short time. Smith’s time at Apple Canada, while short, will be remembered for a bolstering Apple’s channel structure and programs.

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Jim Hoskins, president of Midtown Digital, told CDN that Apple significantly improved its channel relations and programs under Smith. For example, Apple dealers now have back end rebates and ample product supply, two things that the manufacturer struggled with in the past.

Smith joined Apple from HP Canada, where he was the vice-president and general manager of HP Canada’s Personal Systems Group (PSG), the largest division at the subsidiary.

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Hayes, who announced her retirement in April 2009 after leading Apple Canada for more than a decade, reached many milestones including being named the No. 2 Newsmaker of the year by CDN for the historic Apple/Intel deal. Hayes was the first female executive to reach No. 2 status since the inception of the CDN Newsmakers Series; Julie Parrish of NetApp is the other.

Hayes was very well-respected in the industry and had a hand in many high profile Canadian product announcements such as the iPod, MacBook Air, iPhone 3G, Mac OS X Leopard and the iMac.

She also opened up the first Apple store in the country. When she left Apple Canada there were only seven stores in Canada. Today, there are 22 Apple Stores. Hayes moved up to the position of managing director after a stint as vice-president of sales for Apple Canada.

Follow Paolo Del Nibletto on Twitter: @PaoloCDN.

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