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
142 months ago
Gonna polish up my résumé forthwith. ;)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CortexRock Avatar
142 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
142 months ago
He looks like a stone cold animal.

I like him.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
greenythebeast Avatar
142 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
142 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
142 months ago
The should hire Bill Gates.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 No Longer Expected to Feature Built-In Heart Rate or Body Temperature Sensor

Sunday July 3, 2022 8:07 pm PDT by
While past rumors have indicated the upcoming second-generation AirPods Pro will feature a built-in heart rate and body temperature sensor, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has cast doubt on those rumors turning out to be true, saying instead such a feature is unlikely to come anytime soon. "Over the past few months, there have been rumors about this year's model gaining the ability to determine a...
Apple Watch 8 Unreleased Feature Thumb

Apple Watch Series 8 Model Rumored to Feature 5% Larger Display

Monday July 4, 2022 5:50 am PDT by
Apple is working on an Apple Watch Series 8 model with a larger display, according to DSCC's Ross Young and Haitong International Securities's Jeff Pu. In October last year, Young suggested that the Apple Watch Series 8 could come in three display sizes. Now, responding to a query about the rumor on Twitter, Young claims that the additional display size joining the Apple Watch lineup will be ...
intel go pc justin long

Windows Laptop Makers 'Worried' About New MacBook Air Impacting Sales

Tuesday July 5, 2022 6:57 am PDT by
The upcoming launch of Apple's redesigned MacBook Air with the M2 chip has some Windows laptop manufacturers "worried" that sales of Intel-based laptops will be negatively affected, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. "A Wintel brand vendor pointed out that at a price point of US$1,000-$1,500, the MacBook Air will crowd out other high-end notebooks," the report claims, with...
European Commisssion

EU Approves Landmark Legislation to Regulate Apple and Other Big Tech Firms

Tuesday July 5, 2022 5:53 am PDT by
European Union lawmakers have approved landmark legislation to heavily regulate Apple, Google, Meta, and other big tech firms. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA) were proposed by the European Commission in December 2020. Now, collected in a "Digital Services Package," the legislation has been formally adopted by the European Parliament and seeks to address...
macbook air m2 order date feature

Apple Announces MacBook Air With M2 Chip Available to Order Starting July 8, Launches July 15

Wednesday July 6, 2022 4:59 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the new MacBook Air equipped with the M2 chip will be available to order starting Friday, July 8 at 5 a.m. Pacific Time. Apple said deliveries to customers and in-store availability will begin Friday, July 15. MacRumors exclusively reported that Apple planned to launch the new MacBook Air on July 15, and the date has now been confirmed by Apple. Customers will be...
top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Lockdown Mode Feature

Apple Announces New Lockdown Mode on iOS 16 With 'Extreme' Level of Security

Wednesday July 6, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new Lockdown Mode coming to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac with iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura. Apple says the optional security feature is designed to protect the "very small number" of users who may be at risk of "highly targeted cyberattacks" from private companies developing state-sponsored spyware, such as journalists, activists, and government employees. Apple...
siri remote 3

Apple Releases Firmware Update for Apple TV Siri Remote

Tuesday July 5, 2022 12:10 pm PDT by
Apple today released new firmware for the Siri Remote designed for the Apple TV, updating the software from version 9M6772 to 10M1103. The software is for the redesigned Siri Remote that was released in May 2021, aka the gray remote with the updated interface. In the Apple TV settings, the new firmware will display as 0x0070, up from 0x0061. There is no word on what's new with the Apple TV...