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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

In a new report, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has laid out Apple's current succession planning for the company's senior leadership roles. The report explains that Apple is increasingly devoting attention to developing a "new generation of leaders" who will eventually take over senior roles in the company.


Amid increasing awareness that CEO Tim Cook and his management group of senior vice presidents are aging and nearing retirement age, Gurman's sources explained that Apple has undertaken substantial corporate planning to line up a younger generation of leaders. The report outlines several major features of the succession plan.

Most strikingly, the report claims that current Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams is primed to take over as CEO if Tim Cook were to retire imminently. Williams is "seen as the heir apparent" within the company, having run Apple's global operations under Cook's leadership. Previously, he spearheaded development of the Apple Watch and various health initiatives, and has recently begun oversight of hardware and software design.

Crucially, Williams is said to be seen as much like Cook in terms of "pragmatic" leadership style, as an "an operations-focused executive like Cook rather than a product visionary like Jobs or former design chief Jony Ive." Gurman has previously stressed the growing importance of Williams to the company.

Beyond the role of CEO, Gurman highlights how the "smart money" is on the newly appointed vice president of iPhone marketing, Kaiann Drance, taking over from Apple's current marketing chief executive Greg Joswiak, who took over from Phil Schiller in August.

Although the report cautions that Craig Federighi is still the youngest member of Apple's executive team and is likely to remain in his role for several more years, two individuals are lined up to fill his role. Sebastien Marineau-Mes, vice president of Intelligent Systems Experience, and Jon Andrews, who was named a vice president to lead CoreOS in 2019, are apparently seen as most likely to be promoted when necessary.

Apple's various services, such as Apple Music, Apple TV+, iCloud, and Apple Maps, are led by senior vice president Eddy Cue. Peter Stern, who joined Apple in 2016 from Time Warner Cable, is said to be the preferred replacement. Stern currently supervises Apple's original programming efforts, Apple News, Apple Books, iCloud, and the company's advertising platforms. He also directly handled the development of the improved Apple TV app in 2019 and is reportedly "leading the charge" on the new "Apple One" subscription service bundles.

The report also pegs Priya Balasubramaniam to take over from Sabih Khan as senior vice president of operations, John Ternus to take over from Dan Riccio to run Apple's hardware engineering division, and Sribalan Santhanam to take over from Johny Srouji as head of hardware technologies.

While most senior roles now seem to have a successor attached, the report also highlights Apple's contingency options in the case that the preferred individual is unavailable.

As many of Apple's senior executives approach retirement age, and major figures such as Phil Schiller and Jony Ive depart their roles, it is interesting that Apple is conscientiously planning for a wave of similar exits in the immediate future.

Article Link: New Report Outlines Potential Successors to Apple's CEO Tim Cook and Other Senior Executives
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macrumors 6502
Apr 18, 2004
it is interesting that Apple is conscientiously planning for a wave of similar exits in the immediate future.
Not really interesting but rather standard practice for any company, especially one of their size. While perhaps interesting to the Apple faithful, the specific “who may do what” since we have seen some of their personalities, I otherwise find this non news.


macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
I wonder how much of this report is from insiders leaking to Gurman or just filler from him spitballing based on looking up profiles on LinkedIn? There’s nothing in this report that is unusual. The large company I work for is constantly surfacing people in management positions and referring to them as the next generation of leaders in the company. No surprise Apple is doing this. Especially when many of the SVPs have been there since the 90s (or earlier).


macrumors 65816
Jun 20, 2011
Lake Michigan
I am sure that Apple board would like to have a successor to Tim if something should happen to him. Steve left us early, with covid virus you never know. And I am sure Tim is thinking about retirement and all the money he has in the bank :)


macrumors 68040
Nov 19, 2013
Say what you will about innovation and such under Tim Cook's reign but he really does seem like a fantastic leader on a personal level, and a person that one would be appreciate working for. From everything I've seen, Jeff doesn't fall too far from that tree.


macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2018
I wish we could see “fun” products again, like the iPod Nano or Shuffle, for example. Not everything has to be part of some grand ecosystem. If you gave me a Bluetooth iPod nano with wireless charging and 64gb of space or more, I’d buy one instantly.
you and 10 other people. That is why it doesn't exist along with things like personal pocket digital cameras, and other uni-task devices.


macrumors 6502
Apr 21, 2015
Say what you want about the names included in the report but wow, Gurman's sources really are the best in the business.

Jon Rowlison

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2014
He looks 5 years younger than Tim (who apparently is in excellent health.) I hope they're planning out further than THAT...
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