Apple on Thursday announced that Bob Mansfield, its senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, will soon be departing the company and retire.
The departure of Mansfield marks the first exit of a senior executive while Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has been leading the company after he assumed the position following iconic Apple cofounder Steve Jobs’ death.
He will be replaced by Apple’s vice president of iPad Hardware Engineering Dan Riccio.
In Apple’s announcement, it’s apparent that Mansfield is indeed retiring and not leaving the company for another job. There were no instances of doublespeak from Apple like saying that the executive will be “exploring his options,” “taking some time off to travel/be with his family,” or “shift to another interest.”
The executive will be staying at Apple for a while longer to ease Riccio into his current role.
Mansfield is well-respected inside Apple. He has been with the company since the Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker acquired Raycer Graphics in 1999. Mansfield was working at Raycer as the vice president of Engineering when the company was acquired.
Throughout his career at Apple, Mansfield worked on the Mac, the iPhone, the iPod and the iPad. He is said to have had a big role with the development of the iPad since it was still on the drawing board.
“Bob has been an instrumental part of our executive team, leading the hardware engineering organization and overseeing the team that has delivered dozens of breakthrough products over the years,” Apple chief Tim Cook said in a statement.
“We are very sad to have him leave and hope he enjoys every day of his retirement,” Cook noted.
As for Riccio taking on the role Mansfield will be leaving, the Apple CEO reassures that Riccio knows what he is doing. “Dan has been one of Bob’s key lieutenants for a very long time and is very well respected within Apple and by the industry,” he said.
“Our hardware engineering team is the best engineering team on earth and will not miss a beat during the transition,” he added.
Riccio is described by Apple in its announcement as “instrumental in all of Apple’s iPad products since the first generation iPad.”
The senior executive joined Apple in 1998 as vice president of Product Design and has been a key contributor to most of Apple’s hardware over his career.
Being a hire for a “vice president” role in 1998, Riccio is very likely to have been interviewed and specifically chosen by the late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs.