In a move aimed at boosting its digital bookstore and eReader business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Kobo — maker of the Kobo mini, arc, touch and glo readers — has hired former Apple sales director Jean-Marc Dupuis as its new Managing Director.
In an announcement earlier today, Kobo says that Dupuis (who also confirms the appointment on his LinkedIn profile) will link up with EVP and General Manager of Devices, Wayne White, to lead its “expansion strategy” in EMEA regions, calling upon the former Apple director’s experience from 25 years in the technology industry and (almost) four years at Apple, where he was credited with helping doubling the company’s revenue in Europe.
Kobo says it owns 20 percent of the eReader market — counting Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s iBookStore (and iPad) and Barnes & Noble’s NOOK business amongst its rivals — with users in 190 countries. While it already has localised services in 12 countries, the company is intent on “continuing its momentum in 2013 with plans for aggressive growth.”
“It’s phenomenal to join Kobo at a time when the brand is gaining such impressive traction worldwide,” says Jean-Marc Dupuis, Managing Director, EMEA, Kobo. “Kobo is a fast-growing force in the digital sector in a time when digital media consumption and the appetite for eReading continue to grow. I look forward to bringing my experience and knowledge to the Kobo team to further grow the brand.”
In October 2012, Kobo announced it had signed an agreement to acquire Aquafadas, to utilise the company’s digital publishing software and platforms to boost its rich media offering on Kobo eReaders and tablets. At the time, the company said it will bring an expanded selection of rich media, including magazines, academic publications, comics and kids’ books to its Kobo eReaders, helping it expand its selection of digital downloads, but also position its self-publishing services as a real alternative to Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iBookStore and Newsstand offerings.
Coming from Apple, Dupuis will have experience of its digital book marketplace on iPhone and iPad, which he hopes he can use to increase Kobo’s sales presence in EMEA regions.