Le Figaro Stories May 24, 2012

Le Figaro, a well-respected 186-year-old French daily newspaper, just reported that Apple’s Vice President and General Manager for Europe, Middle East, and Africa Pascal Cagni resigned yesterday.

During his 12 years at Apple, according to Le Figaro, the French executive stimulated Apple’s sales in hundreds of countries. He also engaged in the development of the iPod, iPhone, and the AppStore platform, while helping to expand Apple Stores.

Cagni joined Apple as the Vice President of Europe in 2000, according to Apple’s website, and before that he worked at NEC/Packard Bell Europe as the Vice President of Consumer Products. He previously held sales management posts at Software Publishing Corporation and Compaq Computer. Cagni obtained an M.A. in Law at Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and an M.B.A. from Institut Superieur des Affaires. Le Figaro noted that Cagni is a graduate of HEC and Sciences Po He and a former member of the Ernst & Young Europe advisory board and the Council of Foreign Trade of France in the United Kingdom, but he now serves as a non-executive director for Kingfisher.

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Le Figaro Stories April 13, 2012

Le Figaro reports that renowned designer Philippe Starck (pictured, right) is working with Apple on a “revolutionary” product due in eight months.

French designer Philippe Starck announced today on France Info that it is working with the U.S. computer group Apple in a project “revolutionary” that would emerge in eight months. “Indeed, there is a big project together which will be out in eight months,” said the designer in the show “Everything and its opposite.” Invoking the “religious cult of secrecy” of the California firm, he declined further detail, except to talk about a project “quite revolutionary (…) if not very”.

Interestingly, Stark reveals that he had a close collaborative relationship with Apple’s former Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs with whom he met on a monthly basis for seven years.

Philippe Starck, who has revamped hotels, restaurants, toothbrushes or even the last Parisian Navigo travel card, has revealed that he regularly met in California Steve Jobs, Apple’s legendary founder who died last October. “For seven years I came to see him once a month in Palo Alto and elsewhere I go Monday, because even though he is dead, now I will see his wife. We liked to talk all things interesting, “he said.

While this is beyond tantalizing, much can be lost in translation here. Starck already sells products in the Apple Store, and we could be talking about an iPod dock or iPad case or something less exciting than an Apple HDTV or new camera.

Update: More lost in translation/buzzkill: Remember Philippe Starck was working with Steve Jobs on his boat and that would explain the monthly meetings that are ongoing with his wife.  The 75 meter yacht is due in the same 2012-2013 timeframe. It isn’t clear if this is the revolutionary product he was speaking of.

Update 2: Apple says WTF: Reached for comment, an Apple spokeswoman said the company is not working on a new product with Starck and declined to speculate about what the designer might have been referring to when he told France Info Radio that he and Apple “have a big project together that will be out in eight months.”

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