Apple loses head of Mac chip design to Intel

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Apple M1 chip
Someone who lead the switch to the M series of processors jumped ship to Intel.
Photo: Apple

The person responsible for overseeing the transition from Intel to Apple silicon left the company. Jeff Wilcox was Director, Mac System Architecture before his departure.

He summed up his previous role by saying he “led the transition for all Macs to Apple Silicon beginning with M1 chip.” That was one of the most important projects at Apple in recent years, though it’s one that’s wrapping up.

Jeff Wilcox brought Mac from Intel to Apple silicon

Wilcox recently posted on LinkedIn, “After an amazing eight years I have decided to leave Apple and pursue another opportunity. It has been an incredible ride and I could not be prouder of all we accomplished during my time there, culminating in the Apple Silicon transition with the M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max SOCs and systems.”

On Wednesday, he announced he had started at Intel. In his new role, he’s responsible for the architecture of all SoCs for all Intel client segments.

After more than a decade of Macs running Intel processors, Apple began transitioning in 2020 to chips it designed itself, with Wilcox overseeing the process. Its M series processors are variations of the A series used in the iPhone, and the initial M1 justified the decision by providing better performance than Apple itself expected. In 2021, the company followed up with the M1 Pro and M1 Max, which are even faster.

But the transition from Intel to Apple silicon is nearing its end. All MacBooks and some macOS desktops use an Apple processor. The 27-inch iMac is one of the few macOS devices still running Intel and it’s expected to be replaced in spring 2022 with an iMac Pro using an M-series chip. The super powerful Mac Pro is also still Intel, but it’s likewise expected to be put out to pasture for a new version running some variation of the Apple M2 processor.

All in all, Jeff Wilcox did a great job for Apple.