Will Apple's Executive Shuffle Bring in New Chief Operating Officer?

With Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook having been elevated to the position of CEO following Steve Jobs' resignation yesterday, a hole has been left in Apple's organizational structure. And while Cook has by all accounts deftly handled operational and other day-to-day aspects of Apple's business during Jobs' several medical leaves of absence, the company will likely at some point look to bring on a new Chief Operating Officer.

jeff williams headshotAllThingsD takes a look at the potential moves for Apple, judging current senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams as the most likely candidate. Hinting that Apple may have been beginning to deploy its succession plan as long as a year ago, Williams was promoted to his current position in July 2010 as Apple elevated his previous vice president-level position to an executive-level senior vice president position.

An Apple veteran, Williams has worked closely with Cook for over a decade and overseen some of the company’s major supply chain deals. It was Williams, for example, who orchestrated Apple’s massive flash memory purchase in 2005, one that effectively cornered the market for NAND flash and left rivals scrambling for supply. He’s also credited with leading wordlwide operations for the iPhone since the device first launched.

Williams joined Apple as head of worldwide procurement in 1998, arriving at nearly the same time as Tim Cook following Steve Jobs' return to the company. In 2004, Williams was promoted to the position of vice president of operations. At the time of his elevation to senior vice president, it was thought that Williams was being groomed to succeed Cook as COO should Cook take on the CEO role. Now that Cook's promotion has taken place, it seems natural that Williams might step into the COO role at whatever point Apple decides it needs to fill the position.

For its part, Apple hasn't commented on any potential future organizational changes, but insists that any transitions would be smooth.

Apple spokesperson Katie Cotton stopped short of denying further organization changes down the road, but she did insist the transition will be smooth.

“Apple is not going to change,” Cotton told AllThingsD. “Apple is a company and culture unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do.”

Cook himself has expressed similar sentiments to Apple employees, embracing the new opportunity and promising to "stay true" to the culture and vision of Apple.

Top Rated Comments

GeekLawyer Avatar
130 months ago
Gonna polish up my résumé forthwith. ;)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CortexRock Avatar
130 months ago
All Ive, all the time :cool:

Ive* got a lot of time for Johny's work, but I don't think... I... could... handle... all... the... pausing... in... a... key... note... speech ;)

* See what I did there?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aprofetto8 Avatar
130 months ago
He looks like a stone cold animal.

I like him.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
greenythebeast Avatar
130 months ago
How about Phil Schiller?

Phil's expertise is marketing, not operations. While I'm sure he would be fine for the job, having Williams as the COO makes more sense.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pink∆Floyd Avatar
130 months ago
Big question is, who is doing the keynotes, Schiller or Cook?

I hope Steve still does them
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MultiMediaWill Avatar
130 months ago
The should hire Bill Gates.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Watch 7 Unreleased Feature

Apple Watch Series 7 to Focus on One Major Upgrade

Wednesday August 4, 2021 2:12 am PDT by
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 will focus on one important feature in an attempt to tempt existing Apple Watch users that have an older device to upgrade, according to recent reports. Apple may skip adding new health sensors to this year's Apple Watch Series 7 in favor of improving the device's battery life. The company is said to be adopting new double-sided System in Package (SiP)...
Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature

Unreleased Apple Macs and Apple Watches Listed in Eurasian Database Ahead of Fall Product Launches

Monday August 2, 2021 9:34 am PDT by
Apple is preparing for a slew of fall product launches according to new filings that showed up today in the Eurasian Economic Commission database. There are listings for new Mac and Apple Watch models, all of which have previously unknown model identifiers that indicate that they're upcoming devices. There are six new Apple Watch identifiers, including A2473, A2474, A2475, A2476, A2477, and...
magic keyboard touch id

Apple Makes Magic Keyboard With Touch ID Available for Separate Purchase

Tuesday August 3, 2021 5:22 am PDT by
Apple has made the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, which previously was only available with the purchase of the new 24-inch iMac, available for purchase individually for $149. Apple also retails the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and a numeric keypad for $179. A standard Magic Keyboard without Touch ID or a numeric keypad is available for $99, and a new Magic Trackpad for $129. One major...
applestoredown

Apple's Online Store Temporarily Down [Update: Back Up]

Tuesday August 3, 2021 4:01 pm PDT by
Apple's online Apple Store is down at the current time, and attempting to access it to make a purchase gives the standard "Be Right Back" message. Given that it's a Tuesday night/afternoon in the United States and we're not expecting any new products this week, it's likely that this is a temporary maintenance outage that is not related to a new product release. The Apple Store app is also...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Apple Brings China's Luxshare Precision into iPhone 13 Supply Chain to Meet Production Targets

Wednesday August 4, 2021 12:19 am PDT by
Apple is tapping more Chinese suppliers as it seeks to meet ambitious targets for iPhone 13 production, according to a new report by Nikkei Asia. Apple is set to produce between 90 million and 95 million iPhones through January, according to a previous Nikkei report, and China's Luxshare Precision Industry has won 3% of orders away from Taiwanese rivals Foxconn and Pegatron. Luxshare will...
iphone x flexible oled display

Apple Researching Ways to Expand the iPhone's Display to Hide the Notch

Tuesday August 3, 2021 7:51 am PDT by
Apple is researching ways to hide the iPhone's notch when it is not in use and expand the display, according to a newly granted patent. The patent, first spotted by Patently Apple, is titled "Electronic devices with adjustable display windows" and was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It explains how a device's display could move as to show and hide the front-facing camera and ...
themorningshowcarrell

Apple Decided Not to Buy Reese Witherspoon's 'Hello Sunshine' Media Company

Monday August 2, 2021 2:02 pm PDT by
Reese Witherspoon's media company "Hello Sunshine" recently courted various buyers, and while Apple was one of parties interested in buying Hello Sunshine, the Cupertino company did not end up going through with the purchase. Hello Sunshine was valued at around $900 million thanks to its involvement in popular series like The Morning Show," "Big Little Lies," and "Little Fires Everywhere,"...
mac pro new graphics

Apple Introduces New High-End Graphics Options for Mac Pro

Tuesday August 3, 2021 7:34 am PDT by
Apple today began offering new high-end graphics upgrade options for both the tower and rack versions of the Mac Pro desktop computer. This comes on the same day that Apple started selling the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID on a standalone basis. As noted by CNN Underscored's Jake Krol, the Mac Pro can now be configured with new AMD Radeon Pro W6800X, W6800X Duo, or W6900X graphics when...
iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...
ifixit iphone12 mini

Apple to Make Space for Larger Batteries in iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks By Adopting Slimmer Peripheral Chips

Monday August 2, 2021 2:12 am PDT by
For future iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks, Apple plans to use smaller internal components in an effort to increase the size of the device's battery, according to DigiTimes. Image Credit: iFixit Specifically, Apple plans to "significantly increase the adoption" of IPDs or integrated passive devices for the peripheral chips in its products. These news chips will be slimmer in size and allow for...