Some big changes were made in Apple’s executive team on Thursday. Apple promoted Jeff Williams, previously the Vice President of Operations, to Chief Operating Officer, as originally reported by Apple Insider. This is Apple’s first operating chief since CEO Tim Cook, who was named the CEO of Apple on August 24, 2011.
Jeff originally joined Apple back in 1998 as head of worldwide procurement, becoming Vice President of Operations just six years later in 2004. Three years after that, Jeff had an important role to play in Apple’s introduction into the mobile phone market with the launch of the iPhone. Ever since then, he has led worldwide operations for both the iPod and the iPhone. But Jeff Williams isn’t the only employee who has been promoted this week.
Johny Srouji is a semiconductor executive who came onto Apple’s executive team as senior vice president for hardware technologies. Phil Schiller has had his role expanded to include overseeing Apple’s App Store. Schiller was previously the senior vice president of worldwide marketing, he is replacing Eddy Cue, who has just become Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services, who previously oversaw the App Store, in addition to iTunes, Apple Pay as well as Apple Music. Furthermore, chief creative officer of advertising firm Grey Group Tor Myhren has been hired as vice president of marketing communications for Apple. Cook made an official statement regarding Jeff Williams and the rest of the newly appointed positions following the announcement.
“We are fortunate to have incredible depth and breadth of talent across Apple’s executive team. As we come to the end of the year, we’re recognizing the contributions already being made by two key executives. Jeff is hands-down the best operations executive I’ve ever worked with, and Johny’s team delivers world-class silicon designs which enable new innovations in our products year after year. Phil is taking on new responsibilities for advancing our ecosystem, led by the App Store, which has grown from a single, groundbreaking iOS store into four powerful platforms and an increasingly important part of our business.”
Some may not be surprised at the fact that Apple is currently the most profitable company in the world, thanks to the introduction of the iPhone 6 in 2014. Apple sees two-thirds of its revenue coming from the phone, its newer products, such as the Apple Watch and Apple Music, have yet to take off in a phenomenal fashion. But Jeff Williams has a lot to keep him busy, leading a team of people across the globe in making sure their products are always meeting the highest of standards. He’s also going to be the head of Apple Watch development, which is the company’s first new tangible product since the introduction of the iPad in 2010.
A friend of Jeff Williams and the director emeritus of the Caldwell Fellows program at North Carolina State, Gerald Hawkins, says that Williams is nothing but loyal.
“With Jeff, what you see is what you get. And if he said he was going to do something, well, he’d do it.”
Williams helped Apple in its launch with the Nano as well as other accomplishments behind the scenes.
Prior to working at Apple, Jeff Williams worked for the IBM Corporation for 13 years, from 1985 to 1998. He worked in several operations and engineering roles. Williams holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from Duke University. Williams also spoke at this year’s Code conference, discussing a range of topics from him being in charge of the Apple Watch to how they release sales data.
[Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images]