Apple Makes Shifts in Senior Management

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple CEO Tim Cook finally picks his right-hand man.

Apple named Jeff Williams as its new chief operating officer Thursday, a job that hasn’t been filled since Tim Cook left the position more than four years ago to become CEO.

Williams, who started at Apple in 1998, previously held the role “vice president of operations.” Apple says Williams has “overseen Apple’s entire supply chain, service and support, and the social responsibility initiatives” since 2010.The iPhone maker on Thursday announced new changes and additions to its operating and organizational structure, including a new COO — a position that had been empty since Cook, the previous COO, became chief executive just before the death of founder Steve Jobs from cancer.

Apple also announced that it hired Tor Myhren from advertising company Grey Group to be vice president of marketing communications, overseeing Apple’s advertisements, Web sites and product packaging. In addition to Williams’ promotion, Apple’s marketing chief, Phil Schiller, will take over responsibility for all of Apple’s App Stores (iPhone, Mac, Apple TV, and likely soon the Apple Watch). The appointment was part of several management changes at the world’s most valuable company, including the elevation of a top engineer who has been in charge of designing chips that are at the heart of the iPhone and iPad.

In addition, Apple says it’s expanding VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller’s duties to now include running the App Store across all Apple platforms. More than 11 million developers around the world create apps for Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS — as well as compatible hardware and other accessories, and customers have downloaded more than 100 billion apps across those platforms.

According to a report from The WSJ citing an unnamed senior exec, the move to appoint Williams to the COO position was more about formalizing a role he was already playing inside the company, rather than an indication that he could become Apple’s next CEO when Cook departs. There are a number of executives who could be considered for that position when the time came, they said. “We are fortunate to have incredible depth and breadth of talent across Apple’s executive team.

According to the Apple, he will be responsible for Apple’s advertising efforts and also its interactive web design, packaging and retail store displays. Fortune called Williams “Tim Cook’s Tim Cook,” and “the guy that makes Apple run,” and Cybart called Williams has been called a potential successor to Cook. Mr Myhren will succeed Hiroki Asai, who earlier announced plans to retire after 18 years in graphic design and marketing communications roles at Apple. Operations and supply-chain management are a big part of what has made Apple into the world’s largest company and those areas are crucial for the company’s continued success. Apple says that, in his new position, Schiller will focus on expanding Apple’s ecosystem across devices, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV.

Both, however, have not yet seen the same impact in terms of breakout hits or developer traction as the original App Store did, though it’s still early days. Heralded by the Haaretz newspaper as the highest-ranking Israeli in Silicon Valley, Srouji previously held senior positions at Intel Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. Also, Johny Srouji, who oversees Apple’s semiconductor business and other hardware technologies, will now be Senior Vice President for Hardware Technologies.

Apple has been investing heavily in semiconductors and unlike many other handset makers, it designs its own chips instead of buying whatever the latest product is from outside suppliers. A report this week from Raymond James, for instance, citing weaker guidance from Apple’s supply chain suppliers, said that it’s possible there will be fewer iPhone upgrades in “the coming 3 and 12 months than a year ago.” That means it may be time for Apple to shake things up, and this is certainly an interesting start at doing just that.

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Apple Says U.K. Surveillance Law Would Endanger All Customers

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Says U.K. Surveillance Law Would Endanger All Customers.

Apple Inc. outlined its opposition to a proposed U.K. surveillance law, saying threats to national security don’t justify weakening privacy and putting the data of hundreds of millions of users at risk. The world’s most valuable company is leading a Silicon Valley challenge to the proposed U.K. law, called the Investigatory Powers bill, which attempts to strengthen the capabilities of law-enforcement agencies to investigate potential crimes or terrorist attacks. Rather than protect well-meaning citizens, the bill will force tech firms to hack their own customers — and in the process break the laws of other countries, some of the companies said in filings Monday to a U.K. panel charged with reviewing the proposed legislation. The bill could also set a precedent for other governments and even repressive regimes to impose draconian requirements on tech firms concerning user data. Law enforcement agencies around the globe have stepped up their requests for greater authority in the weeks following a series of deadly terrorism attacks in Paris and San Bernardino in the United States.

The Cupertino, California-based company is particularly concerned the bill would weaken digital privacy tools such as encryption, creating vulnerabilities that will be exploited by sophisticated hackers and government spy agencies. Public officials have called for new ways to spy on terrorist groups and their communications, some of which is said to take place secretly on encrypted Internet messaging platforms. In response to the U.K. rules, other governments would probably adopt their own new laws, “paralyzing multinational corporations under the weight of what could be dozens or hundreds of contradictory country-specific laws,” Apple said. “The creation of backdoors and intercept capabilities would weaken the protections built into Apple products and endanger all our customers,” Apple said in an eight-page submission to the U.K. committee considering the bill. “A key left under the doormat would not just be there for the good guys.

The U.S. technology companies have been strengthening use of encryption technology following revelations by National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden of government spying in 2013. The end-to-end encryption used by Apple and others prevents anyone but the recipient from seeing a message — it’s so strong that even Apple can’t intercept the message. Apple CEO Tim Cook has become an outspoken advocate for strong encryption technology, saying it protects personal communication, as well as health, financial and business data, for the millions of people who use iPhones and other Apple products.

Government attempts to seize customer data stored outside of the United Kingdom should be subject to strict intergovernmental processes, according to some companies. Apple said it often cooperates with the U.K. government when information is sought by law enforcement, saying it “helps catch criminals and save lives.” Still, the company said that if it was required to weaken its encryption standards, criminals and terrorists would continue using other technology available in the market. “There are hundreds of products that use encryption to protect user data, many of them open-source and beyond the regulation of any one government,” Apple said. “By mandating weakened encryption in Apple products, this bill will put law-abiding citizens at risk, not the criminals, hackers and terrorists who will continue having access to encryption.”

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