Ron Okamoto quietly retired after two decades as Apple’s vice president of Developer Relations. He helped oversee the tools provided to third-party iPhone and Mac application developers, and helped set policies for the App Store.
His retirement comes as governments around the world are investigating whether Apple treats fairly the third-party developers who depend on the iPhone and Mac App Stores.
20 years at Apple
Okamoto joined the Mac-maker way back in 2001. Previously, he’d been a top executive at Adobe and at Macromedia before that.
In his twenty years, he was responsible for the resources, tools, software, content and services available to third-party app devs as part of the Apple Developer Program. He was also in charge of the annual Worldwide Developers Conference.
He’s being replaced by Susan Prescott, according to Bloomberg. She’s currently Apple’s VP of Product Marketing, .
A complex time in Apple developer relations
Okamoto didn’t run the App Store. That’s Phil Schiller’s job. But he was involved. And Apple developer relations have become more complex as the company puts more emphasis on increasing software sales to drive future growth. Apple’s revenue from services — including the App Store — totaled $14.5 billion last quarter, a 17% increase year-over-year.
Still, widely publicized complaints caused Apple to cut in half the fees it charges most developers. That was a major change of a policy stretching back a decade.
And to add to the pressure, the EU is reportedly close to filing antitrust charges for the way the App Store is run.
The EU recently began its own investigation. As a cherry on top, Okamoto will testify in the Apple v. Epic Games trial despite being retired.