Fortune has posted a brief profile of Jeff Williams, Apple's senior vice president of operations. Describing him as "Tim Cook's Tim Cook," Fortune's piece notes that Williams joined Apple in 1998 as head of worldwide procurement and was responsible for a US$1.25 billion deal with flash memory manufacturers that helped make the iPod nano a (very successful and very lucrative) reality.
Williams is primarily responsible for Apple's supply and production process, so he has close ties to Apple's overseas partners, including Foxconn. Now that Tim Cook has been promoted to CEO, Williams has taken over some of the duties Cook managed as Apple's Chief Operations Officer. Apple's supply and procurement logistics are the unsung heroes of the company's success, and some analysts have noted that while other companies may scramble to copy the look and feel of Apple's devices (with varying degrees of success), Apple's supply chain is going to be much more difficult for competitors to emulate -- assuming they even can.
Fortune's profile of Williams makes him sound like a smart and capable guy that Apple's fortunate to have on its payroll. And it underscores the fact that Apple's success over the past decade hasn't been all down to one man, but rather a huge team of intelligent, dedicated, hard-working men and women.