Jony Ive, the long-time head of industrial design (hardware) for nearly every product to come out of Apple in the last 15 years, is taking on additional duties as head of Human Interface (HI) – a newly created group. This is clearly a software group, which makes it all the more interesting. My belief is that this role picks up where another leaves off: Scott Forstall, the SVP of iOS Software, has been shown the door. His responsibilities are being split up among other top Apple executives, and the Human Interface group is part of that.
According to Apple:
Eddy Cue will take on the additional responsibility of Siri® and Maps, placing all of our online services in one group. This organization has overseen major successes such as the iTunes Store®, the App Store℠, the iBookstore℠ and iCloud®. This group has an excellent track record of building and strengthening Apple’s online services to meet and exceed the high expectations of our customers.
Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X®. Apple has the most advanced mobile and desktop operating systems, and this move brings together the OS teams to make it even easier to deliver the best technology and user experience innovations to both platforms.
Another, albeit smaller, change is Bob Mansfield’s role. After deciding he wasn’t retiring after all earlier this year, he’ll now be heading another newly created group: Technologies. The Technologies group focuses on wireless and semiconductor technology, two critical components to Apple. And why, you ask, is this interesting? Because it’s evidence of a further souring relationship between Apple and Samsung, the maker of a tremendous amount of Apple’s chips. Look for Mansfield’s group to start bringing more of this in-house. This group will also be working more closely with Jony Ive’s group (roughly 20 employees) on industrial design.
Lastly, Apple’s newly appointed head of retail stores, John Browett, is leaving the company. Apple mentioned him in its press release briefly at the end:
Additionally, John Browett is leaving Apple. A search for a new head of Retail is underway and in the interim, the Retail team will report directly to Tim Cook. Apple’s Retail organization has an incredibly strong network of leaders at the store and regional level who will continue the excellent work that has been done over the past decade to revolutionize retailing with unique, innovative services for customers.
Quite the shake up, indeed.
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