Apple gives Tim Cook's old gig to Jeff Williams (and demotes Eddy Cue)

iPhone sales falling, Watch doing badly, App Stores moribund: Something must be done! This is something...

Apple Jeff Williams COO Tim Cook
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Apple executive team gets a shakeup. Jeff Williams is now Chief Operating Officer (COO)—the job Tim Cook did before Steve Jobs promoted him.

Also, Phil Schiller gets the App Stores chalice, and Johny Srouji is now hardware prince. As they say over in the Apple factories, may you live in interesting times!

Oh, and Eddy Cue got a quiet demotion. Perhaps it’s payback for the developer angst over failing App Stores.

As speculation roils about iPhone sales dropping, what do these moves tell us about the future? In IT Blogwatch, bloggers dig into the detail. Not to mention: Haunted movies...

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Shuffle the deck and pick any card. Daisuke Wakabayashi squares the inner circle—Apple Names Jeff Williams First COO Since Tim Cook:

Facing renewed questions about its growth, [Apple] fortified its senior ranks by naming a [COO] and realigning several other posts.

Williams [is] a longtime trusted lieutenant of...Tim Cook. Mr. Williams...joined Apple in 1998, oversees its massive supply chain and operations, [and] the development of the Apple Watch.

Investors are increasingly skittish. ... Analysts forecast that iPhone sales may fall in the fiscal year...which would be the first decline since...2007.

Apple also named...Phil Schiller to oversee the App Store [and] Johny senior vice president for hardware technologies.

It’s about time Apple had a COO again. With a confusing headline, Simon Sharwood says Apple anoints the new new Steve Jobs:

Apple has re-instated the position of...COO, a post last held by...Tim Cook.

Supply chain is critically important to Apple. ... Cook's mastery of Apple's supply chain during his stint as COO was one reason he was considered a suitable...CEO. Williams' ascension to is therefore being widely interpreted as...succession planning.

Some critics worry that Apple hasn't had a major hit in years. ... The company's cloud is not thriving and it's been slow with an entrance to streaming music.

Yet...the company coins it quarter after quarter.

And Phil’s new role sounds challenging. Brian Solomon mines the news, in Tim Cook Picks A New COO For Apple:

Phil Schiller...will add leading the App Store and “all developer-related functions” to his responsibilities.

Of all the changes, Schiller’s role at the App Store may be the most interesting. ... Apple has taken increasing heat from developers for letting the platform atrophy.

Many apps also have trouble making money...unless they charge annoying micro-payments.

It kinda sounds like some of this is mere formalizing, rather than a real reorg. Here’s John Gruber’s analysis:

Williams’s and Srouji’s promotions are only making official what’s been known internally for a while.

[But] Schiller taking over the App definitely a shake-up that seemingly wasn’t widely known internally. ... Up until now, the App Stores were in a weird place [on] the org chart...without one person in charge...problems inevitably fell through the cracks.

One story I’ve heard — third-hand at best [is] Schiller...personally pushed for the creation of the Mac App Store [so he] has a personal interest in seeing [it] succeed.

So can we glean anything about Apple’s future product plans? Mark Gurman has a go—Today’s Apple promotions...hint at Apple’s future:

The fact that Apple’s COO remains in charge of...wearable and health efforts indicates that Apple has a pipeline of additional health-related products.

Williams is likely instrumental in the development of the Apple Car [which] requires an entirely new supply chain.

Srouji has led Apple’s chip efforts since the A4. ... With the iPad Pro’s A9X and the increasingly visible transition to ARM Macs, Srouji is also more important than ever.

Schiller, head of all marketing and product management efforts, is taking on new responsibilities [that] appear to be coming out of Eddy Cue’s portfolio [i.e.] the App Store and the iBooks Store.

Developers have publicly voiced their it makes sense for Apple to put an exec...out in front of these issues.

And Finally...

Is the Wizard of Oz a “snuff” movie?

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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