Top Execs Are Leaving Apple After The Jobs Era

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Photo: AP

After Steve Jobs stepped back from daily responsibilities at Apple last January, some wondered if other higher-ups at the company might look for work elsewhere, leading to a kind of brain drain. But to the credit of Apple and its CEO Tim Cook, there really hasn’t been a mass exodus of talent.That said, several key executives have quit the company in recent months. Some were poached by competitors, others simply chose to strike out on their own. Each of these employees likely had their own reason for leaving when they did, but taken together, it paints a picture of a company whose upper management has been in flux since Tim Cook took over day-to-day operations.

We divided up the employees who have jumped ship into two camps: those who left the company after Jobs went on his second and final medical leave in January, 2011 and those who left after Jobs officially quit the company in August.

Simon Prakash went to Google X to work on top secret projects.

Prakash worked as the senior director of product integrity at Apple and had been with the company for about eight years before he was hired away by Google in the beginning of this year. According to his LinkedIn profile, he now oversees 'quality and reliability' at Google X, the part of the company responsible for top secret projects.

David Tupman left the company late last year. No word on where he's working now.

Tupman reportedly left the company very quietly at the end of 2011 after having worked at Apple for about decade as the VP of hardware engineering from the iPhone and iPod division. He is generally credited with being instrumental in the development of both products. No word yet on where Tupman is working now. Tupman's LinkedIn profile still lists him as being in the same position and Apple did not respond to our request for more information about his employment status.

John Theriault quit Apple in November and is now self-employed as a consultant.

Theriault worked as the VP of global security at Apple for more than four years before leaving the company in November. For Theriault, the decision may have had less to do with changes at the top of the company than with the fallout from Apple's controversial security efforts to recover a lost iPhone 4S prototype earlier that year. According to Theriault's LinkedIn profile, he is now self-employed working as a consultant.

Dag Kittlaus left Apple to spend more time with his family.

Kittlaus was the co-founder and CEO of Siri, the company acquired by Apple to bring a virtual personal assistant to the iPhone 4s. He worked at Apple for close to two years as a director of their iPhone apps operation before leaving the company in October to spend more time with his family.

Ron Johnson left to become the CEO of JCPenney.

Johnson, the architect behind Apple's retail store strategy, has arguably been the most high profile loss for the company in the post-Jobs era so far. He officially left Apple in November to take over as CEO of JCPenney after having first announced his decision in June of that year.

Benjamin Fay followed Johnson to JCPenney a few months later.

Last month, JCPenney decided to poach another retail executive from Apple. This time, it was Benjamin Fay, Apple's senior director of retail and an 8-year veteran of the company who helped with the company's global retail store expansion. He is now working as the executive vice president of real estate, store design and development for JCPenney.

Several other key employees left Apple following Steve Jobs' announcement last January to go on his second and final medical leave, effectively putting Tim Cook in charge.

Andy Miller went to Highland Capital, a venture capital firm.

Andy Miller, the head of Apple's iAd department, left the company just a week before Steve Jobs put in his own notice. Miller left to take a job working as a partner at Highland Capital, a venture capital firm. He had been at Apple ever since the company purchased his previous business, Quattro Wireless, in the beginning of 2010.

Bertrand Serlet quit Apple last March. It's anyone's guess what he's working on now.

Serlet was the senior vice president of Mac software engineering and the man generally considered to be the brains behind Mac OS X. He left the company last March after having worked with Jobs for years, both at Apple and NeXT. Perhaps it should come as little surprise that he would leave the company at a time when Jobs' day-to-day involvement was on the decline. No word on what Serlet is working on these days.

Sarah Brody went to PayPal, where she is the vice president of global design.

Brody left for PayPal very shortly after Jobs went on medical leave in January, 2011. She was Apple's director of design and had worked at the company for seven years before being hired away to be PayPal's vice president of global design.

John Herbold went to HealthTeacher, a health startup.

Herbold started working at Apple as an intern back in 2006 before eventually rising up to be a senior product manager for iCloud. But in June of last year, Herbold left Apple to become vice president of HealthTeacher, a health startup.

Find out where other former Apple employees have ended up...

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