Apple made some promotions and tweaked the responsibilities of some of its managers Thursday. Companies do it all the time without much notice or disruption to the goods and services they create.
But this is Apple. Any change in the way it does business could ultimately change our experiences with its product. That is the point behind CEO Tim Cook shifting and shoring up duties for some of his closet managers.
These changes could have been handled internally, so for Apple to make them public is a signal to its devoted customers — and maybe a few sticking to other brands — that the company is raising its ambitions to make even better products.
Williams becomes Apple’s COO, a title for work he has been doing since Cook took over for Steve Jobs in 2011. With Cook the very public face of Apple, Williams has been overseeing product supply and the bulk of daily operations. Williams will maintain his oversight of Apple Watch and other wearables with a special eye on health-related software.
Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac believes Williams’ keen eye for the supply chain gives him a big role in Apple putting a car on the road. Gurman also believes the promotion of Williams tells investors he is being groomed to be Cook’s eventual successor.
Phil Schiller is vice president of worldwide marketing, raising eyebrows among some developers and tech journalists because he now assumes oversight of the App Store from Eddy Cue. Developers have long griped about a lack of responsiveness, but Schiller’s experience with developer relations may help make over the moneymaking App Store.
Observers see Cue’s plate as too full anyway, so giving Schiller the App Store frees Cue to concentrate on Apple Music and Apple TV.
Johny Srouji is the senior vice president for hardware technologies, a logical title given that he has been Apple’s main chip guy since 2010. Given Apple’s chip design is considered the best, he most certainly got a nice compensation bump with the new title. The A9X chip on the new iPad Pro may reinvigorate interest in tablets.
He is also said to be leading the charge in outfitting future Mac computers with ARM processors, eventually relieving Apple of its dependence on Intel chips.
Some new blood
Apple lured away Tor Myhren from the Grey Group to run Apple’s advertising efforts, from billboard and video to motion graphics on the website. This is a critical post because of who he replaces – Hiroki Asai, who, Apple said, announced his retirement internally some time ago. Asai was with Apple for 18 years and was valued for his understanding of Jobs’ vision when it came to the Apple brand.
Myhren is up to the task. He led Grey Group on several award-winning ad campaigns. Twice Grey Group was named Adweek’s Global Agency of the Year while Myhren was the agency’s chief creative officer.