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Monday, July 29, 2013

Longtime Apple Leader Drops Out of Executive Team

Bob Mansfield, a longtime top executive at Apple, has switched to a role outside the executive team, the latest change in management at the company.

Over the weekend, several tech blogs noticed that Bob Mansfield, Apple’s former senior vice president of technologies, had disappeared from the company’s roster of executives published on its Web site. The company has confirmed that Mr. Mansfield is no longer part of the executive team, but will still work under Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive. The reasons for the change are unclear.

“Bob is no longer going to be on Apple’s executive team but will remain at Apple working on special projects reporting to Tim,” said Steve Dowling, an Apple spokesman. He provided no further details on the reasons for the switch.

At Apple, Mr. Mansfield was a star hardware engineer who was instrumental in leading the company’s Mac computers through a transition to chips made by Intel, away from Apple’s own PowerPC processors. When new products were introduced on stage at Apple’s media conferences, Mr. Mansfield frequently appeared on video talking about some of the major hardware changes.

Mr. Mansfield had previously announced his retirement in June 2012. But months later, amid a shakeup of Apple’s executive team, Mr. Mansfield rejoined the company to lead a group that would combine Apple’s wireless and semiconductor teams.

Though it is unclear what he will do in his new role, Mr. Mansfield has had strong interest in wearables, an Apple employee previously said. That suggests he could be focusing on the company’s so-called smartwatch.