Apple names company vet Williams COO

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Has a New COO (and Phil Schiller will lead the App Store).

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. Apple also announced that it hired Tor Myhren from advertising company Grey Group to be vice-president of marketing communications, overseeing Apple’s advertisements, websites and product packaging. Williams (pictured) joined Apple back in 1998 as head of worldwide procurement and became vice president of operations in 2004, a role wich saw him oversee Apple’s supply chain, service and support and social responsibility initiatives. “We are fortunate to have incredible depth and breadth of talent across Apple’s executive team. Williams has effectively been Apple’s COO for some time, but CEO Tim Cook has left the title unclaimed since he vacated it to take the reins from an ailing Steve Jobs in 2011.

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. 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.

He ascended to his previous role in five years ago. “Jeff is hands-down the best operations executive I’ve ever worked with, and Johny’s team delivers world-class silicon designs which enable new innovations in our products year after year,” Cook said in a statement. May’s shake-up also saw Richard Howarth, who has worked on designing the iPhone since the first-generation model was announced, become VP of industrial design, and Alan Dye, who played a large part in the design of iOS 7 and watchOS, take over as VP of user interface design. µ

Myhren joins from Grey Group, where he has served as chief creative officer and president of Grey New York, and succeeds Hiroki Asai, who earlier announced plans to retire after 18 years at Apple. Srouji, who joined Apple in 2008, was previously in charge of development of Apple’s systems-on-a-chip, the hardware that powers mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad. According to the Apple, he will be responsible for Apple’s advertising efforts and also its interactive web design, packaging and retail store displays. 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. Apple’s App Store platform grew significantly this past year, with the launch of an App Store for its new wearable, Apple Watch as well as the introduction of an App Store for its new Apple TV hardware.

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. Also, Johny Srouji, who oversees Apple’s semiconductor business and other hardware technologies, will now be Senior Vice President for Hardware Technologies. 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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