Bob Mansfield Retires From Apple
June 29, 2012

Bob Mansfield Retires From Apple

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

You might not recognize his name, but if you´ve seen any recent Apple product video, it´s likely you know his face. Somewhere in between Sir Ive waxing poetic about minimalism and simplicity and Phil Schiller explaining why this new Apple thing is the best Apple thing yet, Bob Mansfield gets handed the task of explaining how they engineered this beautiful, best thing yet.

Yesterday, it was announced that he´d no longer appear in any video after the MacBook Pro with Retina Display piece. Bob Mansfield will be stepping down as head of Hardware Engineering and will be replaced by Dan Riccio in the coming months.

Riccio currently works under Bob as the vice president for iPad hardware engineering.

Joining the team in Cupertino in 1999, Bob worked very closely with Sir Ive to make sure each beautiful product was also engineered in the same way. Together, Bob and Sir Ive helped to create the popular MacBook Air as well as the iPhone and iPad. When it came time to begin work on the iPad, Bob had already recruited Riccio and had him working on the popular tablet device from day one, according to Bloomberg.

In a statement about Bob´s impending retirement, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “Bob has been an instrumental part of our executive team, leading the hardware engineering organization and overseeing the team that has delivered dozens of breakthrough products over the years.”

“We are very sad to have him leave and hope he enjoys every day of his retirement.”

As for the new guy, Apple said Riccio “has been a key contributor to most of Apple´s hardware.”

Riccio holds a bachelor´s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, which he acquired in 1986. In 1998, he joined the team at Apple as vice president of product design and began working with the Mac line in 2005 before moving to the booming mobile team in 2010.

Some had speculated Bob would be taking his retirement soon, as it was reported two years ago that Mansfield sold off some Apple stock, raking in a cool $10 million.

One industry analyst suggests we might see more of these executive exits in the not-too-recent wake of Steve´s death. Roger Kay, with Endpoint Technologies, told PCWorld, "While Jobs was there, there was this sense of anticipation and excitement, of being part of a once-in-a-generation type experience. It's easy to imagine that after his death it could become a bit anticlimactic."

Another analyst from Sterne Agee & Leach Inc also suggests Apple´s top brass might begin to split away under Cook´s reign. A new leader combined with record high stock prices might be enough to persuade some of these executives to cue their departure as well.

“You need for the next generation of leaders to give them incentives to stay and show a path for growth,” said Shaw Wu, speaking with Bloomberg. Bringing Riccio up, according to Wu, could bring a new generation of leadership to the company. Apple also announced the departure of Betsy Rafael, their corporate controller and principal accounting officer. Rafael joined the team in 2007 and will take her leave on October 19th.