Dan Ricco, Apple’s senior vice-president of hardware engineering since 2012, transition to “a new role” at the company as the American tech giant’s hardware team goes through its biggest shakeup in nearly a decade. John Ternus, who worked on Apple’s M1 chip and led the hardware team designing the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, will replace Riccio as the head hardware engineer.
The role of SVP of hardware engineering at Apple is a key one as the person reports directly to CEO Tim Cook and has the responsibility of leading the Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod engineering teams. Ternus, who has been vice president of hardware engineering at Apple since 2013, has a new role that will put in charge of the company’s hardware efforts. This will be much in the same way that Apple’s senior vice-president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, runs iOS and macOS development.
Dan Riccio will reportedly be working on an unspecified “new project” to report to Cook directly.
“Next up, I am looking forward to doing what I love most focusing all my time and energy at Apple on creating something new and wonderful that I couldn’t be more excited about,” explains Dan Riccio in Apple’s announcement, according to The Verge.
If that language sounds familiar, it’s because the description resembles the one that Apple provided for Riccio’s predecessor, Bob Mansfield, when in 2012, he stepped down as SVP of hardware engineering. Like Riccio, Mansfield transitioned to “work on future projects” in an unnamed role reported directly to Cook. Bloomberg notes that the role included leading Apple’s self-driving car team until December 2020, when Mansfield completely retired from Apple.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) executive John Giannandrea is leading Apple’s future automotive ambitions presently. Still, following Mansfield’s departure, a vacancy would appear to be there in senior hardware engineers on that project.
From Apple’s executive leadership team, Riccio’s move is the latest departure in recent years, following Jony Ive, legendary product designer, who stepped down to form his own design firm, LoveFrom, in November 2019, and Phil Schiller, Apple’s SVP of worldwide marketing, who was replaced in 2020 by Greg Joswiak.