Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be revving up work on its iWatch as reports surface that Bob Mansfield has stepped down from his executive position to focus on special projects. If earlier rumors are correct, Mansfield may be one of those working on Apple’s long-rumored iWatch, although today’s details provided by two different Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) spokespeople provide some additional insight.
Mansfield steps down from executive position
MacRumors noticed that Mansfield’s bio disappeared from the executive leadership page on Apple’s website over the weekend. His history with the company makes it especially interesting that he would be removed from the company’s executive lineup. This morning Bloomberg’s Peter Burrows reports that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) spokesperson Katie Cotton said he will no longer be an executive at the company but “will continue to work on special projects.”
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Of course she would not elaborate on what “special projects” Mansfield will be working on, but there have been recent rumors that Apple is building a dream team to work on its iWatch. In fact, those rumors indicate that he might indeed be a member of that iWatch team.
Mansfield to lead a new team
All Things D’s John Paczkowski reports that another spokesperson, Scott Dowling, said Mansfield will be in charge of a new group called the Technologies group, which “combines all of our wireless teams across the company in one organization.”
The group is aimed at enabling Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to innovate “at an even higher level.” The group will contain all of Apple’s semiconductor teams, which Dowling said “have some very ambitious plans.” In addition, he indicated that Mansfield would remain with the company for the two more years.
Other rumors point to Mansfield’s new project
As early as April, there were indications that Mansfield could work on the iWatch, a device that could theoretically come under the Technologies umbrella as described by Dowling. Former Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) executive Kevin Lynch was said to have left the company to work on the iWatch, and his boss at that time was Mansfield.
Mansfield has apparently been seen wearing NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE)’s Fuel Band at work, and some have said that his focus at Apple since his return to the company last year has been on health products.
Mansfield’s history makes him an obvious choice
Bloomberg gives a brief history of Mansfield’s recent history with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). He has handled some of the most difficult transitions at the company over the last 10 years or so. He helped transition the Macs over to chips made by Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and worked on the development of the iPad after his June 2012 retirement, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) lured him back in with a massive compensation package which made him one of the highest paid executives at any S&P 500 company.