The Ten Key People Apple Hired for Apple Pay and iWatch

Apple has been working hard on every aspect of Apple Pay to make it successful. One important focus for the company is hiring the right set of executives and experienced management to run the grand show.

Apple Pay will be available in the U.S. beginning in October and will be compatible with Visa, MasterCard & american express payment networks with cards issued by most of the major banks. The company claimed that its new payment system will work at over 220,000 retail outlets within the United States, including Nike, Macy’s, and Walgreens.

In this article, we will discuss some of the key personnel Apple has hired over the last few months:

Mary Carol Harris, former Director of Mobile at Visa Europe

Mary has been hired recently, reportedly to bring the Apple Pay mobile payment system to the European market. Previously, she worked as director of mobile with Visa Europe. She also led Telefonica’s NFC division during the formative years of NFC.

Overall, she has fourteen years of experience in digital and mobile payments, including NFC technology.

Angela Ahrendts, Former CEO, Burberry

Earlier this year, in May 2014, the company hired Angela Ahrendts. She is working as Apple's senior vice president of retail and online stores, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. Angela joined Apple from Burberry, where she served as CEO and led the company through a period of outstanding global growth. Prior to Burberry, she was executive vice president at Liz Claiborne Inc., and earlier in her career she served as president of Donna Karan International.

Rick Krakowski, former Product Manager at American Express

In April this year, Apple hired Rick Krakowski to be an iCloud product manager, with a focus on worldwide product marketing. Krakowski was previously a product manager at American Express, where he led product management and development. At American Express, Krakowski worked on Serve, the prepaid platform, and managed a team of four senior managers.

Steve Mansour, former Senior Director of Engineering at Paypal

Just this April, Apple hired Steve Mansour from PayPal to head up engineering. Mansour has significant engineering experience, so he may not have been brought in for payments specifically, but Mansour was most recently the senior director of engineering environments at PayPal. According to his LinkedIn profile, Mansour worked at eBay/PayPal to enable highly scalable applications.

Paul Deneve, Former CEO, Yves Saint Laurent

In another high-profile move, Apple last year hired Paul Deneve, CEO of French luxury label Yves Saint Laurent. Deneve reports directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook and has been working on 'special projects' for the company, with most speculation centering around the Apple pay and iWatch.

Patrick Pruniaux, Former Sales director, TAG Heuer

In July 2014, the company hired the sales director of luxury watch brand TAG Heuer, Patrick Pruniaux, supporting the industry speculation at the time, that the company was was working toward an October introduction for the iWatch. It is now clear that the company has been building a formidable team with experience in the fashion industry. Pruniaux's former position was vice president global sales & retail.

Mark Newton, Famous Designer commissioned by Ford, Nike, and Qantas Airways

In September, Apple announced that it had hired Mark Newton, the famous designer from UK. Newton, who continues to be based in the United Kingdom, is now an employee of Apple, and will be traveling frequently to the company’s Cupertino, CA, headquarters. The industrial designer has had his work archived by MoMA, and has been commissioned by Ford, Nike and Qantas Airways, among others.

Luca Maestri, former Corporate Executive, Xerox and Nokia Siemens Networks

Another major development in the company last year was the appointment of onetime Xerox Corp. executive Luca Maestri as chief financial officer. Prior to joining Apple, Luca was CFO at Xerox and previously at Nokia Siemens Networks. He has over 25 years of experience building and leading finance teams in global companies with significant operating scale and complexity.

Ben Shaffer, Former Design Leader at Nike

In September last year, Apple reportedly hired Nike’s Flyknit and Fuelband designer, Ben Shaffer. Shaffer was a Nike employee since 2011 and under his leadership, Nike was recently awarded the most innovative company of 2013 by Fast Company.

In another related development, the company completed a planned purchase of Beats to bring in longtime music-industry executive Jimmy Lovine. Following this, Beats CEO Dr. Dre, also joined Apple's team in May this year.