At the 86-minute mark in Apple’s two-hour long WWDC keynote for new software, CEO Tim Cook said, “I want to invite my colleague, Superman, back to the stage.”
Apple SVP Craig Federighi sprinted from the right side of the stage up the steps, grabbed the presentation clicker from Cook’s hands with a slightly embarrassed smile on his face.
“This is clearly some kind of endurance training thing Tim is doing to me,” said Federighi quietly. The crowd laughed.
Last year was Federighi’s big coming out party as an executive at Apple. He stole the show at 2013’s WWDC keynote with his warm performance. This year, he didn’t have to steal the show because he was the show.
Federighi was on stage for the bulk of the presentation. He took short breaks when Cook introduced each new area of focus: OS X, iOS, and finally the new programming language. He also got time to catch his breath when other Apple employees would demo new features. Other than that, it was Federighi’s show.
Federighi is the SVP of software engineering. In that role he oversees the creation of software for the Mac and for the iPhone. So, it makes sense that was on stage. He’s presenting all of the work from his team.
Federighi first came to Apple when it acquired Steve Jobs’ NeXT. He left Apple in 1999 for enterprise software company Ariba where he was CTO. He returned to Apple in 2009. He took over running Apple’s Mac software group in 2011. Federighi was promoted when Apple’s former leader of iPhone software, Scott Forstall, was forced out of the company in the fall of 2012.
He excels in the spotlight making presentations. He did two-hours worth of new stuff and didn’t stumble once.
Some of the funnier moments: He threw up devil horns when Apple introduced “Metal,” a new graphics processing system. When Apple was demoing new email he showed a Photoshop of Jony Ive with Federighi’s hair.
And, best of all, when Apple was introducing new video messaging for iMessage, he showed himself backstage with his hair messy. (He has an on-going gag about his thick head of hair. In the past, his name for Apple’s Game Center was “Hair Force One.”)
We saw a lot of people on Twitter complimenting his performance. “I loved Federighi in today’s keynote. Can’t think of other tech keynotes with so much humour in them,”said Sriram Krishnan of Facebook.
Dan Frommer of Quartz tweeted, “Craig Federighi, future Apple CEO.”