Apple’s Longtime App Store Developer Relations Chief Retires

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Apple Inc.’s executive in charge of App Store developer relations retired and the role has been taken over by a key marketing executive, according to people familiar with the matter.

Ron Okamoto was hired by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 2001 as vice president of developer relations after previously serving as an executive at Adobe Inc. At Apple, Okamoto helped oversee the app-review process and policies, distribution of tools to build and sell apps, forums and technical developer support, the annual WWDC conference, awards for developers, and developer communications.

Okamoto’s status as a former employee was disclosed Friday in a witness list provided by Apple to the court for its upcoming trial versus Fortnite developer Epic Games Inc. The witness list said a deposition by Okamoto may be used in the trial and that he can testify about the App Store’s policies, business model, developer tools, and agreements between Apple and third-party developers.

The App Store has been under scrutiny from antitrust regulators and some developers over fees and complex rules. Apple recently sliced its revenue share from app purchases to 15% from 30% for developers who make less than $1 million in annual revenue.

His role has been filled by Susan Prescott, a respected Apple executive who previously oversaw marketing for Apple’s own apps and is now also responsible for education marketing. The App Store itself is overseen by Phil Schiller, the company’s former head of marketing, and Matt Fischer, a company vice president.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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