Updated: Why Did Bob Mansfield Really Depart Apple's Executive Team?
July 29, 2013
See update. Bob Mansfield joined Apple in 1999 following its acquisition of Raycer Graphics. For most of the past 14 years, Mansfield played an integral part at Apple, and helped launch a plethora of products including the iPad and Intel-based Macs. This weekend, as was previously reported, Mansfield was removed from Apple’s online listing of executives. Soon after, Apple confirmed to AllThingsD that “Bob will no longer be on Apple’s executive team, but he will continue to work on special projects.” This doesn’t sound right – especially when you consider what has happened at Apple during the past year. Mansfield resigned as Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering in June 2012. Two months later, he returned to “work on future products.” Following Scott Forstall’s ouster at Apple, Mansfield received a new title, becoming the company’s senior vice president of technologies. The understanding following Mansfield’s 2012 return was that he would remain at Apple for at least two more years. It was assumed that the return included a position on the executive team. At some point, Apple needs to bring some clarity to this most recent news. As John Gruber noted, “I’d love to know what’s really going on here.” So would we. For example, was Mansfield’s demotion tied in any way to the recent shutdown of the Apple Developer site? Additionally, what becomes of the company’s senior vice president of technologies position? According to AllThingsD, Apple spokesman Steve Dowling refused to “comment on the reasons behind Mansfield’s abrupt demotion or whether Apple plans to appoint a new SVP of technologies.” Those questions need to be answered. Don't you agree? Update: Gruber talked to a lot of people and has concluded that Mansfield's exit is nothing more than ordinary. He notes:
After talking to a few more people, the impression I’m left with is that Mansfield has been so successful and remains so popular, he can write his own ticket. And this is the ticket he’s written.