iPod Co-Creator Exits Apple for Green Tech

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After nine years, iPod co-creator Tony Fadell has opted to exit Apple to get a hand in “green” tech.

Fadell is credited with hatching the idea of a hard-drive-based digital music player in the 1990s.  He first took the concept to Real Networks, but left after just six weeks due to clashes with CEO Rob Glaser.

Fadell found fertile territory for the project at Apple, where he was the first member of its iPod hardware engineering team in 2001. Working with Jon Rubenstein, Michael Dhuey and Jonathan Ive in under a year, the iPod was born.  

Fadell was was promoted to vice president of iPod engineering in 2004, then named senior vice president of the iPod Division in April 2006.

His final exit isn’t that much of a surprise: Fadell stepped down from that position in 2008, staying on in an advisory role to Steve Jobs.

The forty-year-old Fadell kept mum about the motives behind his decision but told the New York Times that he was saying adios to Apple to advise companies and pursue private investments with a focus on green technology.

“My primary focus will be helping the environment by working with consumer green-tech companies,” he said. “I’m determined to tell my kids and grand kids amazing stories beyond my iPod and iPhone ones.”