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Apple grooming exec for COO spot after Jobs steps down?

updated 10:30 pm EDT, Wed July 21, 2010

Apple in early steps to ready for Jobs exit

Apple has promoted an executive in what could be some of its earliest steps towards handling CEO Steve Jobs' succession, a report claimed this evening. VP of Operations Jeff Williams is understood to have been promoted to Senior VP, just below chief operating officer Tim Cook, with the intention of taking Cook's role should he replace Jobs as company leader. AppleInsider understands that he would oversee product quality as well as help manage the supply chain, both of which have been considered Cook's strengths and which would hint at a large amount of trust in Williams' abilities.

Williams has supposedly been groomed for considerably longer in an attempt to keep him onboard for a future leadership role. He was granted 40,000 stock options as long ago as August 2005 and has been granted between 10,000 and 26,250 stock options every year since, all of which vest over the course of four years. If all of them were to vest at once as of Wednesday, Williams would make almost $27.3 million.

The new Senior VP was originally brought on to Apple from IBM and has drawn most of his attention for efforts in the handhelds that now make up the majority of Apple's business. As head of worldwide procurement, he was crucial to getting components for the early years of the iPod and later as VP proved important to the 2007 launch of the iPhone.

It's not known whether the promotion has been prompted by any particular events. However, Jobs has taken increasing steps in the wake of his cancer treatments to show that the company isn't solely dependent on his leadership and may be eager to put a more definite succession plan in place. Many of Apple's more recent presentations have had Jobs only on stage for a portion of the event, with Senior VPs ranging from Phil Schiller to Scott Forstall often presenting key segments.

Jobs' position is unique in the industry as it's believed that he still has a large amount of control over product designs relative to other companies. Google, Microsoft and other major competitors usually delegate many key decisions to executives with the CEO primarily offering larger strategy and oversight.

By Electronista Staff
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    Comment buried. Show
  1. ilovestevejobs

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2007


    Why only guys?

    Seriously if Apple is so cool and trendy why not appoint a woman?

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Shomei

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2010



    Yep, why not.

  1. revco

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005



    Where's his black mock turtleneck?

    Looks like smiling is his least favourite expression. That's good. I've always considered smiling an over-rated expression.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. osxtasy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2008


    This might be a good thing.....

    "AppleInsider understands that he would oversee product quality as well as help manage the supply chain, both of which have been considered Cook's strengths and which would hint at a large amount of trust in Williams' abilities."

    If "PRODUCT QUALITY" was considered Tim Cook's "STRENGTHS" (after the iPhone 4 fiasco, which basically shows us all that little to NO QUALITY TESTING WAS DONE), then I can't wait to see what this new guy "Williams" can do....LOL

    In addition, as an Apple consumer myself, lets not forget about:
    The Nvidia Graphics card failures, the Macbook Pro WiFi drops/issues, the white MacBook polycarbonate plastic cracks & discoloring, the yellow iMac screens, the iPad WiFi reception, the time-capsule overheating/powesupply failures, the Macbook Pro's getting ridiculously HOT (due to smc not ramping up fan speeds properly/poor vent/intake designs), the macbook Air hinge failures, the MacPro Audio issues when using itunes, and MANY MANY logic board(why cant they just say motherboard???) failure issues.

    Anyway, suffice it to say that alot of us have been bitten by some of that PRODUCT QUALITY/QUALITY ASSURANCE that Tim Cook was heading up!

  1. IxOsX

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2009


    Hard Job

    Will be a hard job to find someone as good as Steve Jobs. For the better or the worst Steve Jobs have a lot of charisma and talent, he is one of the best, if not the best, on what he do. He is almost a legend, but is not immortal. So somewhere in time this change have to happen.

    Anyone who will substitute Jobs place, will always be compared. So it will be a very hard job for the that person!

  1. redcapzero

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007


    to all the buried commenters

    Apply for the possition seeing that you all MUST be at the apex of tech design / function.

    I must agree with IxOsX that it will be a difficult transition for whom ever replaces Mr. Jobs.

    Conclusion: Mr / Ms ilovestevejobs; you must be in dire need of a hug...

  1. Will C

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Jan 2001


    Replacing Mr Jobs

    While I agree Steve Jobs' charisma is important*, Apple do not need an exact copy to replace him - something/somebody quite different could be just as effective - like a good teacher that person just needs that magic ingredient.

    *even if I feel a little uneasy about him.

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