New Report Outlines Potential Successors to Apple's CEO Tim Cook and Other Senior Executives

In a new report, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has laid out Apple's current succession planning for the company's senior leadership roles. The report explains that Apple is increasingly devoting attention to developing a "new generation of leaders" who will eventually take over senior roles in the company.

tim cook jeff williams

Amid increasing awareness that CEO Tim Cook and his management group of senior vice presidents are aging and nearing retirement age, Gurman's sources explained that Apple has undertaken substantial corporate planning to line up a younger generation of leaders. The report outlines several major features of the succession plan.

Most strikingly, the report claims that current Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams is primed to take over as CEO if ‌Tim Cook‌ were to retire imminently. Williams is "seen as the heir apparent" within the company, having run Apple's global operations under Cook's leadership. Previously, he spearheaded development of the Apple Watch and various health initiatives, and has recently begun oversight of hardware and software design.

Crucially, Williams is said to be seen as much like Cook in terms of "pragmatic" leadership style, as an "an operations-focused executive like Cook rather than a product visionary like Jobs or former design chief Jony Ive." Gurman has previously stressed the growing importance of Williams to the company.

Beyond the role of CEO, Gurman highlights how the "smart money" is on the newly appointed vice president of iPhone marketing, Kaiann Drance, taking over from Apple's current marketing chief executive Greg Joswiak, who took over from Phil Schiller in August.

Although the report cautions that Craig Federighi is still the youngest member of Apple's executive team and is likely to remain in his role for several more years, two individuals are lined up to fill his role. Sebastien Marineau-Mes, vice president of Intelligent Systems Experience, and Jon Andrews, who was named a vice president to lead CoreOS in 2019, are apparently seen as most likely to be promoted when necessary.

Apple's various services, such as Apple Music, Apple TV+, iCloud, and Apple Maps, are led by senior vice president Eddy Cue. Peter Stern, who joined Apple in 2016 from Time Warner Cable, is said to be the preferred replacement. Stern currently supervises Apple's original programming efforts, Apple News, Apple Books, ‌iCloud‌, and the company's advertising platforms. He also directly handled the development of the improved Apple TV app in 2019 and is reportedly "leading the charge" on the new "Apple One" subscription service bundles.

The report also pegs Priya Balasubramaniam to take over from Sabih Khan as senior vice president of operations, John Ternus to take over from Dan Riccio to run Apple's hardware engineering division, and Sribalan Santhanam to take over from Johny Srouji as head of hardware technologies.

While most senior roles now seem to have a successor attached, the report also highlights Apple's contingency options in the case that the preferred individual is unavailable.

As many of Apple's senior executives approach retirement age, and major figures such as Phil Schiller and Jony Ive depart their roles, it is interesting that Apple is conscientiously planning for a wave of similar exits in the immediate future.

Top Rated Comments

ghostface147 Avatar
10 months ago
I guess they ignored my résumé
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bttrdg Avatar
10 months ago

They need someone who is:
[LIST=1]
* Hungry
* Foolish
* Willing to take risks and who has a forensic eye for detail

Craig seems like an obvious choice.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naviest Avatar
10 months ago
Oh god .. another decade focused on services & operations rather than innovating products
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kycophpd Avatar
10 months ago
I don’t believe any of this until Prosser says it.

Then I REALLY don’t believe it.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
markcres Avatar
10 months ago
They need someone who is:
[LIST=1]
* Hungry
* Foolish
* Willing to take risks and who has a forensic eye for detail
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mdridwan47 Avatar
10 months ago
Great! Tim Cook's Tim Cook is going to replace Tim Cook. I wish someone like Scott Forestall or Craig Federighi.. The product people, would succeed Cook.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

macbook air orange

Apple Developing a Whole New Kind of MacBook Air

Monday June 21, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Apple is believed to be working on a completely new, high-end version of the MacBook Air, according to recent reports. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, has repeatedly discussed the company's work on a high-end MacBook Air. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and leaker Jon Prosser have also referred to a similar MacBook Air model. The high-end...
iOS 15 Users Underwhelmed Feature

Users Underwhelmed by iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Survey Suggests

Monday June 21, 2021 7:17 am PDT by
Users appear to be underwhelmed by Apple's upcoming iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 updates, according to the findings of a new survey by SellCell. The survey asked 3,000 iPhone and iPad users, evenly split between men and women, aged 18 or over in the United States, what they thought of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and the naming of the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup. Over 50 percent of all of the survey's...
purple iphone 12 and 12 mini

iPhone 12 Mini Production Reportedly Ended Earlier Than Expected Due to Relatively Low Sales

Monday June 21, 2021 7:07 am PDT by
Following widespread reports that the iPhone 12 mini has experienced poor sales performance, at least relative to other iPhone 12 models, Taiwanese research firm TrendForce today claimed that production of the device has already ended. According to TrendForce, the iPhone 12 mini "reached End-of-Life ahead of time" during the second quarter of 2021, suggesting that Apple will focus on selling ...
Dark Sky App Featured

Apple Updates Dark Sky Weather App With Apple Watch Improvements and More

Tuesday June 22, 2021 11:58 am PDT by
Apple today updated the Dark Sky weather app for the first time since November with improved VoiceOver support and other bug fixes and performance improvements. In addition, Dark Sky complications on the Apple Watch now update more frequently. The full release notes for Dark Sky version 6.8.6:• Improved VoiceOver support • Complications on Apple Watch update more frequently •...
iPhone 12 v Android 2020

Apple Executive Says Users Who Want App Sideloading Already Have That Option With Other Platforms

Wednesday June 23, 2021 5:07 am PDT by
Apple earlier today published a detailed report outlining in blatant terms the negative impact that sideloading would have on the iPhone and iPad, specifically calling out the impacts it would have on user privacy and security. Now, the company is continuing its PR push, with an executive noting in an interview that users who wish to sideload apps already have that option thanks to other...
iOS Spam Calendar Feature

iCloud Users Continue to Be Plagued by Calendar Spam

Monday June 21, 2021 8:51 am PDT by
Despite previous attempts to put the situation at rest, some iCloud users continue to experience spam calendar invitations, causing their calendars to be filled with random events. The situation received widespread coverage in 2016, where Apple said that it was "actively working to address this issue" by "identifying and blocking suspicious senders." Victims are targeted in various ways. The ...
primeday2020 feature3

Amazon Prime Day: The Best Apple Deals

Monday June 21, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
Amazon's annual Prime Day event has officially kicked off today, beginning 48 hours of discounts, offers, and tons of savings across Amazon's storefront. This includes everything from home electronics to clothing, jewelry, video games, movies, and much more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...
ios wifi settings

iOS Bug Causes Specific Network Name to Disable Wi-Fi on iPhones

Sunday June 20, 2021 4:15 am PDT by
A wireless network naming bug has been discovered in iOS that effectively disables an iPhone's ability to connect to Wi-Fi. Security researcher Carl Schou found that after joining a Wi-Fi network with the name "%p%s%s%s%s%n" his iPhone's Wi-Fi functionality was left "permanently disabled." Changing a hotspot's SSID did nothing to correct the problem, with even a reboot failing to make a...
iphone 13 lineup dummy models

iPhone 13 Dummy Models Depict Repositioned Camera Modules

Wednesday June 23, 2021 4:12 am PDT by
New alleged dummy models of the upcoming iPhone 13, shared by leaker Sonny Dickson on Twitter, depict a modified camera layout on the standard iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini, with two lenses in a diagonal arrangement rather than the vertical arrangement seen on the iPhone 12 models. The dummy models generally line up with iPhone 13 schematics previously seen by MacRumors, which showed that the ...
iphone 13 yellow

TrendForce: iPhone 13 Lineup Will Remain Limited to Maximum 512GB of Storage

Monday June 21, 2021 6:33 am PDT by
Apple will likely unveil its next-generation "iPhone 12s" or "iPhone 13" lineup in around two and a half months from now, and ahead of time, Taiwanese research firm TrendForce has outlined its expectations for the devices. A summary of TrendForce's expectations:Apple will unveil four new iPhones in September, including a mini model, a standard model, and two Pro models. September is the...