Apple's Longtime App Store Developer Relations Lead Retires

Ron Okamoto, who has been working as the App Store's developer relations head since 2001, has retired this year, reports Bloomberg.

apple developer banner
Okamoto was responsible for overseeing the ‌App Store‌ review process and policies, distributing tools to allow developers to build and sell apps, developer support, developer communications, developer awards, and he also handled the annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

Apple marketing executive Susan Prescott will be taking over Okamoto's role as vice president of developer relations. Prescott is Apple's vice president of product marketing and has been at Apple since 2003.

Okamoto will be testifying in Apple's upcoming legal battle against Epic Games, and that court filing is where it was noted that he has since retired from the company. Okamoto will talk about Apple's ‌App Store‌ policies, developer tools, and agreements between Apple and third-party developers.

Top Rated Comments

ShinySteelRobot Avatar
9 months ago

Okamoto will be testifying ('https://www.macrumors.com/2021/03/20/apple-vs-epic-trial-tim-cook-scott-forstall/') in Apple's upcoming legal battle against Apple
You've heard of "Kramer vs Kramer ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kramer_vs._Kramer')"? Check out the sequel, "Apple vs Apple"!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jessejarvi Avatar
9 months ago
What the hell, Apple? Replacing a dev person with a marketing person when the audience is devs is just idiotic.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mtrm Avatar
9 months ago

('https://www.macrumors.com/2021/03/22/apple-developer-relations-lead-retires/')

Ron Okamoto, who has been working as the App Store's developer relations head since 2001, has retired this year, reports Bloomberg ('https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-22/apple-s-longtime-app-store-developer-relations-chief-retires').
2001? that’s a typo surely, no? App Store didn’t exist until 2009 or so, I believe.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Grohowiak Avatar
9 months ago

What the hell, Apple? Replacing a dev person with a marketing person when the audience is devs is just idiotic.
Understatement.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Abazigal Avatar
9 months ago
They've done something pretty similar with design. That's what you get when the CEO of the biggest tech company doesn't "do" dev and doesn't "do" design, but would rather do stock buybacks and social justice PR.
It’s interesting that you brought this up. Just over the weekend, I was clearing out my pocket reading list, and came across this article I had saved some time back.

https://techpinions.com/apples-road-to-a-trillion-dollar-company/53395

Of note are points 3 and 4.

Operational excellence. While Steve Jobs gets all the credit for vision and his role in championing Apple’s products, Tim Cook’s role while Chief Operating Officer where he built a world-class supply chain cannot be overestimated. And the framework from what Cook built starting around 2000 is still the foundation for Apple operational brilliance. Before Cook took over the supply chain, it was a mess. Interestingly, Cook’s role as COO has served him well as a CEO. He is one of the only CEOs in tech that understands firsthand the entire ecosystem of what it takes to build world-class products and still has makes his mark on their current operations and supply chain.
Jobs’ decision to instill his vision and Apple’s cultural identity into his current leadership. One of the more masterful things Jobs did was to invest a great deal of time with key leaders to make sure Apple’s future would be prosperous after he was gone. He was first diagnosed with liver cancer around the 2002-2003 time frame and at that time was faced with his mortality. While he did seek treatment and even had a liver transplant, he knew his days could be numbered. From that point on, he doubled down in tutoring Cook, Schiller, and other top leaders to make sure his vision and the spirit of Apple would continue even if he could not be there to make it happen himself. I have dealt with people at Apple for 37 years, and some of them are still there. They all know the Apple way and what it takes to make Apple successful. That is due to the serious tutoring by Jobs himself in those leaders and is a fundamental reason why Apple has reached this significant milestone.
Tim Cook is clearly no Steve Jobs when it comes to product vision and showmanship, but that doesn’t mean he has learnt nothing from his time working under Steve Jobs, and I feel that he isn’t getting anywhere close to enough credit for the work he does.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
weup togo Avatar
9 months ago
The description is backwards. App Store policy & review has always been a subset of the Developer Relations org with Ron as VP, reporting to Phil.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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