Apple’s long-time hardware leadership steps down to work on the mysterious “new project”

Apple announced on Tuesday that its long-time SVP of hardware engineering, Dan Riccio, would relinquish his current role and focus on a new “completely new project”. Riccio had led hardware engineering since 2012. Prior to that role, he led iPad hardware engineering. He will report directly to CEO Tim Cook in his new role.

John Turnes, who has held the position of vice president of hardware engineering since 2001, will take on the former role of Riccio leading the hardware engineering team. Ternus has recently appeared in Apple product announcements, and was the lead for the iPhone 12, as well as a key team leader on AirPods, Every iPad, and the M1 transition.

As is common with such announcements, there are statements by Apple’s leading figures about it. Starting with Cook:

Dan has made every innovation that has helped bring Apple to life a better and more innovative company, and we’re thrilled that he will continue to be part of the team … John’s deep expertise and wide breadth of experience bolsters him Made and the visionary leader of our hardware engineering teams. I want to congratulate him for both of these new exciting steps, and I look forward to many more innovations that will help bring him into the world.

And here is the statement from Riccio himself:

Working at Apple has been an opportunity of a lifetime, spent creating the best products in the world with the most talented people you can imagine. After 23 years of leading our product design or hardware engineering teams — culminating with our biggest and most ambitious product year — this is the perfect time for a change. Next, I’m looking forward to doing what I love most – I’m focusing all my time and energy on Apple to create something new and amazing that I couldn’t be more excited about.

It is not at all clear that “something new” would be working on Riccio, as the announcement does not say. The most high-profile and well-supported rumors about completely new future Apple products are an upcoming augmented reality headset and various versions of the idea of ​​an Apple car.

Riccio’s new focus may be one of them, or it may be a completely new product, of which we are not yet aware.

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