Bob Mansfield to Focus on New Products, Other Execs Take Over Management Duties


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Earlier this week, Apple executive Bob Mansfield stepped down from his management duties at Apple in order to focus on 'special projects' -- reportedly working on the development of entirely new products for the company.

Now, 9to5Mac has additional details about how the shake-up affects other executives.

Dan Riccio, who was promoted to lead Apple's hardware engineering teams when Bob Mansfield first retired last year, will gain oversight of the company's antenna design teams in addition to his current leadership of Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod engineering.

Jeff Williams, who, as Senior Vice President for Operations, has been Tim Cook's right hand man for years, will take over the job of managing Apple's special projects engineering teams, while Mansfield gets to continue working with Apple's newest and most cutting edge designs without the distraction of management.
According to a source familiar with the former Technologies team, there has been a lack of formal internal communication regarding the reasoning behind the management shift. However, the company did make the new executive roles clear to these employees. Even with the lack of communication, sources say that the change is not unprecedented. Over the last couple of months, Mansfield is said to have been increasingly focused on chips (and some aspects of wireless) while delegating his other teams to other executives.
9to5 goes on to note that though Mansfield would like to retire at some point, he will likely never fully leave the company. Given the lengths that Tim Cook went in order to keep Mansfield at Apple, it's likely he will be given free rein to work whatever hours and on whatever projects he wishes.

Article Link: Bob Mansfield to Focus on New Products, Other Execs Take Over Management Duties


macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2011
Putting his talents to better use! I still want him to be in the keynotes though, can't innovate my a**!


macrumors regular
Mar 22, 2013
Bob must really know what he's doing... I don't know enough about this guy.


macrumors regular
May 19, 2003
Also, his recent insistence to wear a monk's robe and be accompanied by a live falcon was not fitting in with the rest of the exec team meeting vibe.


macrumors regular
Mar 3, 2009
only problem I see is that visionary and youthfulness ofttimes come hand in hand...time
for Apple to bring in the new???


macrumors 603
Jul 11, 2008
Good. Their current products are stale, no reason to upgrade type of products.

iPhone and iPad can't do all the work for too much longer.


macrumors 601
Jun 12, 2005
This looks like what Steve did for Jony, giving him total freedom of all management and answering to only Steve. So Cook following Steve on this.


macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
OK I don't get why Cook created this new role when he did the re-org last year. Why didn't he just say Mansfield would be working on special projects (even if internally he was still managing teams that weren't ready to transition to Riccio or Williams). It just seems odd to create a new SVP role only to get rid of it 8 months later. And then not say anything to the media until after someone questioned why Mansfield was removed from Apple's website. Very strange all around. :confused:


macrumors 68000
Jul 17, 2009
Der Wald
Big mistake a LOT of engineering companies make is to make their best engineers...managers.

You end up with a "meh" manager while losing a great engineer.

Good to see Bob getting to play in the lab and just be a geek again!!!


macrumors 6502
Jun 6, 2012
Looks like he is more invaluable than the Jobs himself?
Jobs is dead (sadly), not much to be done to keep him at Apple or bring him back.

I agree with the other poster (SeattleMoose) about destroying a good engineer by making him a manager. Glad he is freed from these mundane duties to do what he enjoys (and hopefully bring some benefits).


macrumors regular
Jan 29, 2010
Seattle, WA
I love listening to Bob Mansfield talk during the Apple videos… It's going to be a sad day when he finally retires. :/


macrumors regular
Feb 19, 2002
Gothenburg, Sweden
Mansfield's role might be to setup and start their semiconductor business.

I was thinking that all the rumors and facts surrounding Apples foray into chip design and now perhaps manufacturing will be Mansfield's role to lead. This would be a separate entity within Apple and since it's not the consumers or developers that would be this department's foremost customer, then this division might do best to not act directly under Apples's primary management structure.


macrumors member
Nov 25, 2006
Sounds like when I was in the Air Force, when my Colonel ended up on the bad side of the base commander. Magically, he was re-assigned to be in charge of "special projects".

Two months later, the boss came to him and said "Sorry Mike, there aren't any more special projects, you can stay if you want as to supervise the cleaning of the base barracks, or you can retire..."
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