Apple announced on Monday that Apple senior vice president of hardware engineering Bob Mansfield will not be leaving after all, a reversal from an announcement earlier this year that he would retire. The company said that Mr. Mansfield will be staying to “work on future products,” reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook.
Mr. Mansfield will not, however, stay in the position of senior VP of hardware engineering. That position is officially being given to Dan Riccio, who had already been named as Mr. Mansfield’s replacement, but without the “senior” in front of his VP title. This promotion means that Mr. Riccio will join Apple’s Apple’s official “executive management team.”
Apple also announced that Craig Federighi, Apple’s vice president of Mac Software Engineering, will also be bumped up to senior VP and join the executive management team. Mr. Federighi had been named as Bertrand Serlet’s replacement when he left Apple in 2011—Mr. Serlet is currently at cloud startup UpThere.
So congrats and all to Messrs. Federighi and Riccio, but what about Bob Mansfield? He announced his retirement in June of this year, and shortly thereafter he apologized for Apple having pulled out of EPEAT, rejoining the environmental watchdog group in the process.
Apple’s mention of Mr. Mansfield was two sentences long and wasn’t even included in the title of the press release. It’s pretty big news, however; Mr. Mansfield has played a key role in developing Apple’s Mac hardware for more than a decade, and is well respected within the company and the industry as a whole.
Working on “future products” suggests Mr. Mansfield just wanted to get back to making stuff, rather than managing Apple’s stable of hardware engineers, and the fact that he’s going to report directly to Tim Cook means he will have a free hand on whatever the heck he’s working on.
Few executives at a company’s Apple’s size get to report directly to the CEO without a “senior VP” in their title.
It’s an intriguing development, and it’s good news for Apple’s customers and shareholders. The same is true for the promotions of Messrs. Federighi and Riccio, as a fully formed executive team should make for smoother operations at the company.
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