Jeff Williams Named Apple COO, Phil Schiller Takes Over App Store Leadership

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Apple has announced an executive shakeup today that sees Jeff Williams promoted to Chief Operating Officer and marketing chief Phil Schiller taking over App Store leadership across all Apple platforms.

Williams, who joined Apple in 1998 as head of worldwide procurement, becomes Apple's fourth C-level executive alongside CEO Tim Cook, Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri and Chief Design Officer Jony Ive.

As vice president of operations since 2004, his responsibilities included overseeing Apple's supply chain, service and support, and the company's social responsibility initiatives protecting its employees worldwide. He also continues to supervise development of the Apple Watch and ResearchKit.

Cook called Williams "hands-down the best operations executive I've ever worked with."
"We are fortunate to have incredible depth and breadth of talent across Apple's executive team. As we come to the end of the year, we're recognizing the contributions already being made by two key executives," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "Jeff is hands-down the best operations executive I've ever worked with, and Johny's team delivers world-class silicon designs which enable new innovations in our products year after year."
Apple's COO position had been vacant since Cook was named CEO in August 2011.

Schiller's expanded role will be focused on strategies to extend Apple's ecosystem across iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV, alongside his traditional marketing responsibilities. App Store leadership previously belonged to Apple services chief Eddy Cue, who continues to oversee the iTunes Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, Apple Maps, iAd, iCloud, iWork apps and more.
Cook continued, "In addition, Phil is taking on new responsibilities for advancing our ecosystem, led by the App Store, which has grown from a single, groundbreaking iOS store into four powerful platforms and an increasingly important part of our business. And I'm incredibly happy to welcome Tor Myhren, who will bring his creative talents to our advertising and marcom functions."
Apple also announced that Johny Srouji is joining the company's executive team as Senior Vice President for Hardware Technologies, and that Grey Group chief creative officer Tor Myhren will join Apple in the first calendar quarter of 2016 as Vice President of Marketing Communications, reporting to CEO Tim Cook.

Srouji joined Apple in 2008 to lead development of the A4 chip, and now oversees the company's silicon and hardware technologies, including batteries, application processors, storage controllers, sensors silicon, display silicon and other chipsets across Apple's entire product line. He previously worked at Intel and IBM in the areas of processor development and design.

Myhren will be responsible for Apple's advertising and marketing communication efforts across a range of creative disciplines, including video, motion graphics, interactive web design, packaging and retail store displays. The experienced advertising executive will succeed Hiroki Asai, who is retiring after 18 years in graphic design and marketing communications roles at Apple.

Update: While Williams is often described as "Tim Cook's Tim Cook," The Wall Street Journal has learned that his new COO title is more about formalizing a role he had within Apple, as opposed to grooming him to be the next Apple CEO.
A senior executive at the company, who declined to be identified, said the move isn't necessarily a sign that Mr. Williams is the heir apparent to Mr. Cook and that many members of the current executive team have what it takes to be the future CEO. The new title formalizes a role that Mr. Williams has been playing inside the company, the executive said.
The leadership changes are reflected on Apple's executive profiles page.

Article Link: Jeff Williams Named Apple COO, Phil Schiller Takes Over App Store Leadership
 

sjinsjca

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Oct 30, 2008
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Great news about Schiller. My sense is that the App Stores have stagnated, especially for platforms other than iDevices. For example, what was a great potential differentiator for the Mac has become something of a burden. And discovery of Watch apps is needlessly opaque.

Schiller's a great choice for injecting new energy and direction across the platforms. Go, Phil!
 

Waxhead138

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May 18, 2012
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I don't follow the details of Apple's management hierarchy as close as some. Does anyone think this will hopefully improve the amount of focus to detail in some areas that has been lacking? Does this look to be a result of some peoples management plates being over-loaded and this being a corrective measure maybe?
 

levitynyc

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Being the richest country in the world with billions upon billions in untaxed cash sitting somewhere is definitely a big call for a shakeup.

I don't get it. Is it an ego thing? How much more money can a company make?

Personally, I'd like to see everyone involved in the Apple Watch get shown the door, but whatever.

I'd also like whoever made the decision to make games for the Apple TV have to work with the godawful remote go as well.
 

tgara

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This is great news. Apple really needed someone to oversee all the App stores across all platforms (iOS, Mac, TV) because they were all getting clunky and inconsistent. The Mac App store in particular, seems to have simply been forgotten about recently.

Both Schiller and Williams gets things done, so they are great fits for these new roles. I expect to see many improvements in the various app stores in the coming months.
 

EldonChew

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"Johny’s team delivers world-class silicon designs"

Hmmm interesting, isn't that the hardware engineering team's job?
 

GFLPraxis

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Being the richest country in the world with billions upon billions in untaxed cash sitting somewhere is definitely a big call for a shakeup.

I don't get it. Is it an ego thing? How much more money can a company make?

Personally, I'd like to see everyone involved in the Apple Watch get shown the door, but whatever.

I'd also like whoever made the decision to make games for the Apple TV have to work with the godawful remote go as well.
I think the cash pile was, originally, a leverage tool that Tim Cook (in the Jobs days) was especially good at utilizing. They could get priority manufacturing access by giving out loans to manufacturing partners to build out infrastructure and generally throw their wait around. Tim liked having that tool.

However, the cash pile has gotten so big it's looking silly. Apple should be reinvesting like crazy if they think they have room for growth, or returning it to shareholders.

Unless Tim Cook is secretly saving up to buy a country or something.
 

blackcrayon

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"Johny’s team delivers world-class silicon designs"

Hmmm interesting, isn't that the hardware engineering team's job?
Maybe it's a mistake and he meant "world-class silicone" designs... Perhaps he makes rubber mockups of iPads for testing!

not sure about a marketing guy running the app store.
Hasn't Phil made decisions in the past with the App Store? I thought he already had some involvement or responsibility-like when he decided a few times on apps that got banned or he allowed them to be accepted when the review team originally denied them. Also possible he was just reporting what happened at Apple and not the primary decision maker.
 

Rogifan

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Nov 14, 2011
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Since Jony Ive was promoted to Chief Design Officer and now Williams is COO I wonder why Schiller wasn't named Chief Marketing officer. Most large companies have a CMO.
 
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Chupa Chupa

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Jul 16, 2002
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Basically giving Williams a shinier name. He was already SVP of Operations. His responsibilities really do not change with his new title. But interesting that 4 years and months after Tim Cook vacated the Apple COO position Apple finally gives Williams the title.
 

aristobrat

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Oct 14, 2005
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Being the richest country in the world with billions upon billions in untaxed cash sitting somewhere is definitely a big call for a shakeup.

I don't get it. Is it an ego thing? How much more money can a company make?

Personally, I'd like to see everyone involved in the Apple Watch get shown the door, but whatever.

I'd also like whoever made the decision to make games for the Apple TV have to work with the godawful remote go as well.
Why does it have to be a money thing? I mean yeah, it'll probably end in more revenue, but if they're fixing a sub-par customer experience (like the two you mention), who cares?
 

ethanwa79

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Sep 13, 2014
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Interesting about Schiller's assignment to control the App Stores completely..... they definitely need work.

They need to give developers more options like trials, paid upgrades, etc. It will improve the quality of the product that developers put out by giving them motivation to update their apps rather than create/dump/create/dump.
 

Popeye206

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Sep 6, 2007
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This is all good. More leadership in different area's means more focus and more progress. I see it as Apple is gearing up for the next big growth spurt. Of course, this assumes they don't put a "dud" in drivers seat along the way.
 
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