There were flutters of panic yesterday among Apple watchers when the profile of senior vice president of Design, Jony Ive, disappeared from the executive leadership page, where it had been happily sitting next to Tim Cook, Eddy Cue, Phil Schiller et al.
The last time an executive’s profile vanished from the line-up without any formal announcement was in July 2013 when Bob Mansfield, a senior vice president and head of the company’s Technologies division, stepped down from that role, though he did continue to work for the company on ‘special projects’, reporting directly to Tim Cook.
With Ive’s picture and details spiralling off into the ether, eyebrows and questions were raised. Had the powers that be decided that iOS 7 was a fizzer after all?
Had the Englishman’s increased profile (the November 2013 release of a biography entitled Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products, his high profile collaborations with Irish rock star Bono and designer Marc Newson, on the Product (RED) charity initiative) upset the Apple cart?
To cut him back to size, had Sir Jony been demoted down the ranks and could he now be found mooching around the Apple paint department, picking out new colours for the iPod shuffle?
Giving some hope that all was not lost, despite Ive’s non-appearance in the leadership line-up, a direct link to his executive profile was still active. As Apple Insider notes, “Profiles of executives that have left the company completely, like former iOS chief Scott Forstall, draw a 404 ‘can’t be found’ error.”
But it seems all the kerfuffle was for nought. Ive’s thumbnail has since been replaced, with the biography unchanged and an Apple spokesperson explaining to Dave Lee from the BBC that it was simply a case of the company “updating the Exec Profiles”. So who’s next?
Next week will we see the Apple cybersphere go into meltdown as Tim Cook temporarily vacates the page?