Bob Mansfield is the one of the highest regarded Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) executives, and the second highest-compensated executive on the S&P 500. He looks a bit like Patton Oswald, but no longer shows up on the company’s website in a disappearing act this week that would have made Waldo or Jimmy Hoffa proud. Somewhat ironically, as I wrote that I did a (successful?) search for Jimmy Hoffa on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) only to find that not unlike Bob Mansfield’s disappearance from Apple’s website this week, Hoffa disappeared this week (tomorrow) in 1975.

Apple

Apple Exec Mansfield threatens retirement and deals out demands

Apple blogger John Gruber says, “everyone loves Bob” at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and that, ” Mansfield has been so successful and remains so popular, he can write his own ticket.” The ticket? $85 million in compensation this year after threatening to retire. He also had Scott Forstall fired as part of his demands when he let Apple talk him into working for an additional two years beyond his planned retirement. Consequently, to say that “everyone” loves Bob might be a bit of a reach. Rumor has it that Mansfield patently refused to be in the same room as Forstall.

Om Malik, a blogger and venture capitalist, said on Bloomberg recently that, “People love him. People who work for him love him. He’s a smart, far thinking, intelligent man who understands things at a deeper level. He understands semiconductors and how they interface with our society. He understands the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) philosophy. More importantly, he understands the Apple way of doing things. There is a lot of love for this person inside of Apple.”

Mansfield to focus on the smartwatch

While Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will neither confirm nor deny it, its believed that Mansfield has given up his executive duties and is concentrating on the iWatch. While no one is truly certain there is an iWatch in development, the sheer volume of rumors suggest that there is. If indeed Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is working on a smartwatch, it will mark the first new product, outside of a mini iPad, since the death of Steve Jobs.

“Bob is no longer going to be on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s executive team, but will remain at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) working on special projects reporting to [CEO] Tim [Cook],” Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) spokesman Steve Dowling told All Things D.

It’s a good thing too, apparently when Mansfield announced his retirement in June of 2012, insurrection nearly followed at the Cupertino campus.