Apple’s hardware team is undergoing the biggest change in nearly a decade as Dan Riccio – who has been the company’s senior vice president of hardware engineering since 2012 – moves into “a new role” at the company. He will be replaced as Apple’s chief hardware engineer by John Ternus, who led the hardware team that designed the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, as well as working on Apple’s M1 chips. Ternus has been Apple’s vice president of hardware engineering since 2013.
The role of Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering is critical – the position is directly dependent on CEO Tim Cook and is responsible for leading the Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod design teams. Ternus’ new role will put him in charge of the company’s hardware efforts, in the same way that Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, manages iOS and macOS development.
Riccio, however, will not leave Apple: he will work on an unspecified “new project” for the company in a role reporting directly to Cook. “Next, I can’t wait to do what I love most – focusing all of my time and energy at Apple on creating something new and wonderful that I couldn’t be more excited about,” Riccio explains in the announcement. Apple.
Dan Riccio, Apple’s former hardware engineering SVP.
If that language sounds familiar, it’s because it’s almost the same description that Apple gave to Hedgehog’s predecessor Bob Mansfield when he stepped down as SVP of hardware engineering in 2012. Like Hedgehog, Mansfield moved on to “work on future projects. “in an unnamed role that he reported directly to Cook – which one Bloomberg Notes including the leader of Apple’s self-driving car team until December 2020, when Mansfield completely retired from Apple.
Apple’s future automotive ambitions are currently being led by artificial intelligence executive John Giannandrea. But after Mansfield’s departure, there would appear to be a vacancy among senior hardware engineers for that project.
Riccio’s move is the latest departure from Apple’s executive team in recent years, after legendary product designer Jony Ive (who stepped down to form his design company, LoveFrom, in November 2019) and Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Apple’s worldwide marketing, which was replaced by Greg Joswiak in 2020 when Schiller focused again on managing the Apple App Store and events.
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