Note to Apple: Don’t change up your executive team and expect the Internet not to notice.
Apple quietly removed Bob Mansfield, its senior vice president of technologies, from its executive profile website yesterday without so much as a press release. MacRumors first noticed the change. Apple later gave a terse statement to AllThingsD that confirmed the move, but didn’t clarify much.
“Bob is no longer going to be on Apple’s executive team, but will remain at Apple working on special projects reporting to [CEO] Tim [Cook],” Apple spokesperson Steve Dowling told the site.
Mansfield was brought out of retirement late last year, after working at the company since 1999, to head up a new group dubbed “Technologies,” which united Apple’s wireless and semiconductor teams. At this point, it’s unclear if he’s still managing the Technologies team, which seems particularly important now, as the company needs to step up its game with new devices.
Mansfield was rumored to be working on the iWatch, the Apple smartwatch that the technology world is eagerly awaiting. He previously worked on the Mac starting in 2005 and moved onto helping develop the iPhone and iPad.
We’ll likely get some update on the news soon, but for now the whole situation is a bit confounding. Mansfield initially agreed to spend another two years at Apple, so I can only imagine that something serious has disrupted those plans. Maybe the iWatch development process isn’t moving as quickly as Cook would like, or perhaps Mansfield just couldn’t let go of his retirement dreams.