>Back in 2008, Apple wanted chip design guru Mark Papermaster so much that they actually got into a lawsuit with IBM over him. A mere fifteen months later, though, Papermaster has left his position of Senior VP of Devices Hardware Engineering at Apple… and all signs point to Papermaster having been canned.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Papermaster had a a “falling out” with Steve Jobs over Apple’s corporate culture, and has lost Jobs’ confidence months ago.
As Daring Fireball’s John Gruber points out, that seems to be consistent with external evidence: namely, despite the fact that Papermaster was in charge of the iPhone 4’s hardware, he is nowhere to be seen in Apple’s iPhone 4 promotional videos. Nor was he on stage during Apple’s “Antennagate” press conference.
Rather, in both instances, Papermaster’s ostensible subordinate, Bob Mansfield, took his place to talk in detail about the iPhone 4’s hardware. No surprise, then, that Mansfield has now been promoted into Papermaster’s now vacant position.
Ultimately, this seems to be a case of a square peg not being able to fit into an Apple-shaped hole.
The most interesting detail of this story is the fact that Papermaster was not fired by Jobs over the iPhone 4’s antenna issues. In fact, according to Gruber, the iPhone 4’s antenna issues were ticked as a bug over two years ago, and Steve Jobs himself gave the okay on releasing the handset as designed, believing the “death grip” issue to be comparable to antenna-issues on other smartphones.