Schiller becomes Apple’s liasion to app developers

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple CEO Tim Cook Finds Someone Like Him To Fill Deputy Role.

One of the first phone calls Tim Cook made when he joined Apple Inc. in 1998 was to Jeff Williams, a colleague he worked with for more than a decade at International Business Machines Corp. Apple named its first chief operating officer in four years as part of a broader management shuffle Thursday, bestowing the job CEO Tim Cook last held under Apple’s iconic founder Steve Jobs to a company veteran.FILE – In this March 9, 2015 file photo, Apple Vice President of Operations, Jeff Williams, discusses ResearchKit during an Apple event in San Francisco.

Apple announced a series of changes to its leadership team this morning, including, most notably, the promotion of Jeff Williams to COO, a role that had not been filled since Tim Cook became Apple CEO in 2011. Cook had recently joined Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ effort to turn around the then-struggling company and invited Williams out to California for an interview. “I stopped by here out of courtesy to him but I had no interest in joining Apple,” Williams said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek last year. “Apple had just lost $1 billion.” The shared career path is continuing now after Cook tapped Williams to be Apple’s first chief operations officer since 2011, when Cook relinquished the title to succeed Jobs as CEO. Williams, not well known outside of Apple circles, has been one of Cook’s most trusted deputies, managing the company’s vast supply chain that involves hundreds of thousands of people, but also leading efforts such as the development of Apple Watch, vetting acquisitions and dealing with partners such as Foxconn.

Williams has worked at Apple for about 17 years and supervised the launch of the Apple Watch, which went on sale earlier this year. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) 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. 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.

A savvy and demanding operator whose disciplined approach to management made him the operations yin to Steve Job’s creative yang, Cook earned his current title doing the same job. The move puts Schiller in charge of nearly all developer-related functions, says Apple, which will come on top of his other marketing responsibilities, including Worldwide Product Marketing, international marketing, education and business marketing. 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.

Rather it makes official a role Williams had already been playing at Apple. “As we come to the end of the year, we’re recognizing the contributions already being made by two key executives,” Cook said in the statement. That’s unlikely to stop some outsiders from speculating about whether this could mark the anointing of an heir apparent, said Peter Crist, chairman of the executive search firm Crist Kolder Associates. “It’s a common reaction or response when a COO is named,” Crist said, “and at times it’s inappropriate.” He thinks this is one of those times. 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. That allows Cook to focus even more on strategy, new product development and being the face of the company. “The pressure now on the CEO for external activities is just incredible,” he said. “And if they adopt a mission mindset, like Apple has, that really takes a lot of time.” Meanwhile Apple is facing questions about its growth in iPhone sales, with several analysts trimming their estimates for the number of iPhone shipments for 2016. Colin Gillis, director of research for BGC Partners, agrees that formalizing Williams’ operating role could give Cook more freedom to focus on growing the company’s services business. “I hope it does,” he says. “Apple needs to focus in on reducing its dependency on iPhone hardware sales and building up more of a subscription and recurring revenue stream.” While Apple is adding a COO, more companies have been leaving the slot open.

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. Srouji also oversees technologies such as batteries, application processors, sensors and other internal components that are critical to the iPhone and iPad. 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.

They worked through challenges related to calibrating the heart sensor, getting the software design just right and what to do with all the data that was being collected.

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