Daring Fireball’s John Gruber says Bob Mansfield’s departure from the Apple executive team over the weekend is pretty straightforward and he’s still with the company:
There’s nothing punitive with Mansfield’s role change, nor health problems or anything like that. Just a more focused role on certain new products. His un-retirement as a senior vice president last year was always intended to be transitional, not permanent.
Gruber’s sources tell him that Mansfield is still around working on “special projects” (Apple’s term for new products), just like Apple said in its statement to the press last night. He’s not being pushed out of the company like former iOS boss Scott Forstall was last year.
Gruber is very plugged in at Apple, and his reports are almost always solid.
That may all be true, but it doesn’t make the executive shake up any less weird. Mansfield attempted to retire from Apple last year, but was brought back about two months later as senior vice president of technologies, where he focused on hardware. Apple paid a boatload of money to keep Mansfield. Now it seems like he’ll just be concentrating on future hardware like the rumoured iWatch.
There are still a lot of open questions about what’s going on with Mansfield: Why would Apple remove him from he executive team, even if he is working on special projects? Does this have anything to do with his impending retirement at the end of next year? Will Apple find someone to replace him as SVP of technologies? The list goes on.
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