Veteran operations exec leaves Apple; another considers exit

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Apple Park
Two operations execs could be on their way out of Apple.
Photo: Matthew Roberts

One veteran executive is leaving Apple, while another exec is considering departing the company as well, a new report claims. Both worked in the operations and supply-chain management side.

Nick Forlenza, a vice president of manufacturing design, has retired from Apple. Meanwhile, Duco Pasmooij, a vice president of operations, is discussing an exit in the near future. The operations side of Apple is currently facing challenges related to the outbreak of coronavirus in China, where many of Apple’s supply-side contractors are located.

Forlenza worked under Sabih Kahn, Apple’s senior vice president of operations. His job involved laying out the exacting standards Apple insists on its supply chain partners, such as Foxconn, using for the mass manufacture of Apple devices.

According to the same Bloomberg report, Pasmooij meanwhile worked most recently working in a job related to Apple’s augmented reality efforts. For a long time, he “helped lead production operations” on the iPhone.

Apple currently has around 100 vice presidents who report to CEO Tim Cook and a small team of other senior executives.

Supply chain challenges

Right now, Apple’s supply chain is experiencing problems. At this time of year, Apple engineers normally fly to China to start figuring out the details for iPhone assembly ahead of new models’ customary fall launch. However, travel bans resulting from the coronavirus outbreak, which is largely centered on China, have stopped this from happening. This is not the cause of Nick Forlenza and Duco Pasmooij’s planned exits from Apple.

Apple’s operations side is often overlooked by casual Apple followers. That’s because it’s inherently less headline-grabbing than divisions like the industrial design or software teams. Nonetheless, Apple’s operations wizardry is a big piece of what made the company successful in the past 25 years. Significantly, Apple’s two top executives — CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams — both come from Apple’s operations ranks. That underlines how crucial it is to Apple’s overall success.

Source: Bloomberg