Over the weekend Bob Mansfield’s bio was removed from Apple’s executive team website leading many to believe he had been removed from the company all together. Early Monday morning, Apple spokesperson Steve Dowling confirmed, through AllThingsD, that indeed Mansfield is no longer part of the executive team, but remains at Apple working on special projects.
According to Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, Mansfield’s role change is not connected to any health issues, nor punitive in nature. Rather, Gruber explains, the “un-retirement as senior vice president last year was always intended to be transitional, not permanent.”
Honestly this move doesn’t surprise me one bit, considering Mansfield’s original plans to retire last year. Then being asked, or begged, to stay on. It probably was a long-term strategy on Apple’s part to keep Bob at Apple but also to keep him happy, whether that be allowing him to spend more time with his family or in a role that isn’t as demanding.
From what Gruber states, Mansfield is well liked across the company. Just look at his smile, how can you not like the guy? No need to think he wasn’t getting along with Tim Cook or any of the other executives. In fact Mansfield’s contributions are many, and he has been rumored to be working on iWatch/wearable technologies. Interestingly though, Paul Deneve, former CEO of Yvez Saint Laurent was brought on to work on the very same team.