Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Apple’s Hardware Change-Up

Bob Mansfield out, Dan Riccio in.
July 3, 2012

Apple’s hardware chief, Bob Mansfield, has decided it’s time to retire. Mansfield will be replaced by Dan Riccio, Apple’s vice president of the hardware engineering team for the iPad.

The ascent of Mansfield at the company appears to be another instance of Steve Jobs spotting talent within his ranks and promoting it. After getting a BSEE at the University of Texas in 1982, Mansfield wound up in a leadership position at a company called Raycer Graphics, which got acquired by Apple in 1999. From there, the sky was the limit. Mansfield rose the ranks, eventually overseeing the team that developed the MacBook Air and iMac line, among other products. Back in 2008, CNNMoney called him “part of the troika that took over Mac engineering after the messy dismissal of Tim Bucher in 2004.”

“Bob has been an instrumental part of our executive team, leading the hardware engineering organization and overseeing the team that has delivered dozens of breakthrough products over the years,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “We are very sad to have him leave and hope he enjoys every day of his retirement. Dan has been one of Bob’s key lieutenants for a very long time and is very well respected within Apple and by the industry. Our hardware engineering team is the best engineering team on earth and will not miss a beat during the transition.”

Mansfield has mostly shied away from the limelight; his YouTube presence is minimal, though both he and Riccio make appearances in this video announcing an update in the MacBook line. (It’s mostly dominated by the ultra-suave Sir Jonathan Ive, though).

It may be tempting for some to read more into Mansfield’s departure than a well-earned desire to kick back. Is all well in Tim Cook’s court? Is the post-Jobsian succession plan going smoothly? Are there hidden tensions? One outlet goes so far as to say the departure “raised some eyebrows” and called into question “the structure of Apple’s top-tier design team.”

But it seems unlikely that Mansfield is retiring for anything other than the usual reasons one retires (he did sell almost all his stock a year ago, after all), and that his departure is anything but amicable. For one thing, as CNNMoney pointed years back, Mansfield already reported directly to Cook even while Jobs was alive, hence the shift to the Cook administration should have been particularly easy for him.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution

As organizations navigate a new world of hybrid work, tech innovation will be crucial for employee connection and collaboration.

The way forward: Merging IT and operations

Digital transformation in any industry begins with bridging the gap between two traditionally separate teams.

Investing in people is key to successful transformation

People-related factors like talent attraction and retention and clear top-down communication will determine whether your transformation progresses or stalls.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.