Is iPod Leadership Changes A Sign Of New Apple Strategy?


Is the exit of Tony Fadell, labeled the “Father of the iPod,” a signal Apple has larger plans for the device now partially eclipsed by the iPhone? Yes, say Apple experts.

“We believe this is the second major indication of the future of the iPod as a mobile computing platform,” Andrew Murphy, analyst at Piper Jaffray, told Cult of Mac Tuesday.

The introduction of the iPod Touch was the first tip Apple was moving toward greater mobile computing, Murphy added.

Fadell, who joined Cupertino in 2001, was a senior vice president in the iPod division. He’ll become an advisor to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The decision, made with his Apple Human Resources executive wife Danielle Lambert, was to “devote more time to their young family,” Apple announced.

Former IBM vice president Mark Papermaster will take Fadell’s position, a move Murphy believes means more emphasis on hardware.

“Papermaster’s experience in chip design and his replacement of Tony Fadell shows Apple focusing on mobile devices and possibly doing their own chips for the devices (iPods and iPhones),” the Piper Jaffray analyst wrote in an e-mail to Cult of Mac.

6 responses to “Is iPod Leadership Changes A Sign Of New Apple Strategy?”

  1. Andrew DK says:

    Isn’t IBM trying to stop Papermaster from joining the Apple gang?
    Hm, kinda sounds like a comic book.

  2. Tedious says:

    Fadell didn’t invent the MP3 Player, or even the hard-drive based MP3 Player. He didn’t invent the click-wheel. He didn’t design the iPod’s looks, it’s software, or it’s interface. He didn’t write iTunes. So, what did he do to be considered the father of the iPod? He designed a chip that made a MUCH BETTER hard-drive based MP3 player POSSIBLE.

    That’s what he continued to do while working at Apple. Refine the design, improving it as the rest of the company improved the rest of the iPod.

    His contribution to Apple was a big as Wozniak’s disk drive controller chip (without which the Apple II would have had a very different history), and like Woz his engineering expertise helped shape the entire product. Unfortunately, everyone will get hung up on his title and give him full credit for the iPod, as if it sprang fully-formed from a single person’s head and wonder why Apple is getting a blade-server guy to replace him.

    When you realize they are both chip guys, the hire of Papermaster makes PERFECT sense!

  3. Patrick says:

    “Is iPod Leadership Changes…” should be “Are iPod Leadership Changes…”.