Apple announced a major change to its executive team today: Phil Schiller, who first started at Apple in 1987, is transitioning into a limited role with far fewer responsibilities, holding the title Apple Fellow. Schiller will retain oversight of the App Store and Apple Events, and continue reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook, but most of his current responsibilities will shift to Greg (Joz) Joswiak, who takes over the title of senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
Here’s Schiller on this significant day of transition:
“It has been a dream come true for me to work at Apple, on so many products I love, with all of these great friends — Steve, Tim, and so many more,” said Schiller. “I first started at Apple when I was 27, this year I turned 60 and it is time for some planned changes in my life. I’ll keep working here as long as they will have me, I bleed six colors, but I also want to make some time in the years ahead for my family, friends, and a few personal projects I care deeply about.”
Tim Cook remarks:
“Phil has helped make Apple the company it is today and his contributions are broad, vast, and run deep. In this new role he will continue to provide the incredible thought partnership, and guidance that have defined his decades at Apple”
Schiller has been one of the most visible members of Apple’s team for a long time, most notably owning primary responsibility for introducing new hardware at Apple keynotes, such as the latest iPhone models each year. His expected absence from future such occasions will mark a stark shift for the company.
Joswiak, who takes Schiller’s former role, is no unfamiliar face himself. He has over two decades of leadership experience within Apple, and in recent years has become a regular presence at Apple events as well. Despite being a major force within the company, however, Joswiak’s presence on the executive team represents a new level of leadership for him, and come with major new responsibilities.
After many years of stability at the highest levels of leadership, time is finally catching up with Apple’s executive team. Chief Design Officer Jony Ive departed the company last summer, just a few months after Angela Ahrendts vacated her role as SVP of Retail. While today’s news follows a different pattern, since Schiller is remaining with the company despite his reduced role, so much change at the top of the organization feels very new for the modern Apple era.
As someone who began following Apple closely only about a decade ago, not long before the passing of former presentation chief Steve Jobs, I’ve seen a lot of Schiller product introductions and am really going to miss his presence for many keynotes to come.