Apple has just named its first Chief Operating Officer since Tim Cook took over as CEO in 2011. Longtime Apple veteran Jeff Williams (who joined the company in 1998) is now COO, reporting directly to Cook. Additionally, senior VP of marketing Phil Schiller has seen his duties expand, as well -- he's now the leader of the App Store, a responsibility that was previously under the purview of Eddy Cue.
Williams had previously worked as Apple's VP of operations, so a move into the COO role is entirely logical. He's been described as "Tim Cook's Tim Cook," a recognition of both Cook's excellence in making Apple into product-shipping juggernaut it is now as well as Williams' importance in continuing that as Cook moved into the CEO role. In addition to his operations duties, Williams also oversees the Apple Watch and health-related initiatives, including ResearchKit.
The expansion of Schiller's duties is also a notable change at Apple -- the company says that, with his leadership of the App Store, Schiller is in charge of "nearly all developer-related functions at Apple." It sounds like the vision is to have Schiller help continue to unify Apple's four platforms, including Mac OS X, iOS, WatchOS and the newly-introduced tvOS. Schiller will continue to keep his product marketing duties, so expect to see him continue to pop out onstage to introduce new Macs and iPhones at press events in the foreseeable future.
Schiller taking the App Store off Eddy Cue's plate means Cue will likely be able to continue focusing more on Apple's various commerce channels, including the iTunes Store, Apple Music and Apple Pay as well as Siri, Apple Maps, iCloud and various other Apple software and services. Cue has developed a reputation for being able to jump in and help improve whatever Apple-made internet service needs help, so taking the stable App Store off his plate seems like a logical move.
Lastly, Apple announced a few new members to its leadership team. Johny Srouji, an eight-year Apple veteran, is now the company's senior VP for hardware technologies, and newcomer Tor Myhren will join in Q1 of 2016 as VP of marketing communications, reporting to Cook. While Srouji might not be a familiar name, his mark is all over the company -- he joined in 2008 to lead development of the A4 chip, Apple's first in-house silicon design for the iPhone. Since then, the A-series of chips has been a hallmark of the iPhone and iPad.
Myhren will be succeed Hiroki Asai, an 18-year Apple veteran who worked in graphic design and market communications. The press release says that he'll be in charge of Apple's advertising efforts, a pretty major responsibility for a company as well-known for its ads as Apple.
[Image credit: AP/Eric Risberg]