Bob Mansfield stayed at Apple after CEO Tim Cook offered him 'exorbitant' $2M-per-month

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A new look at the corporate culture of Apple before and after the death of Steve Jobs reveals that Senior Vice President Bob Mansfield went back on his decision to retire after being offered a large sum of cash and stock by Chief Executive Tim Cook.

Details on the behind-the-scenes politics were published on Wednesday in a feature by Bloomberg Businessweek. It revealed that Cook "nearly witnessed an insurrection" after Mansfield's retirement and replacement were announced.

"According to three people familiar with the sequence of events, several senior engineers on Mansfield's team vociferously complained to Cook about reporting to his replacement, Dan Riccio, who they felt was unprepared for the magnitude of the role," authors Brad Stone, Adam Satariano and Peter Burrows wrote. "In response, Cook approached Mansfield and offered him an exorbitant package of cash and stock worth around $2 million a month to stay on at Apple as an adviser and help manage the hardware engineering team."

Publicly, Apple announced in June that Mansfield, the company's head of hardware engineering, would retire after a 13-year stint with the company. But in August, the company announced that Mansfield would instead stay with Apple to work on "future products," and would report directly to Cook.

Bob Mansfield

Apple's Bob Mansfield. | Source: Apple


Wednesday's report characterizes the "public reversal" in retaining Mansfield as part of the new Apple being formed after the death of co-founder Steve Jobs. Employees who spoke with Bloomberg indicated that Apple has more office politics than before Jobs, and there is a lingering concern that the corporate culture could be diluted, but they also say that under Cook, employees are happier with fewer "frantic calls at midnight" or pressure on engineers to cancel vacations.

"No one would say Apple is better off without Steve Jobs," the report said. "But to a surprising degree, it's doing fine."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Might also explain the travesty of iMac, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro releases.


     


    Just leave well enough alone, Cook. Let the people who've done so well for Apple pick their own replacements.

  • Reply 2 of 60
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,418member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Might also explain the travesty of iMac, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro releases.


     


    Just leave well enough alone, Cook. Let the people who've done so well for Apple pick their own replacements.



    Not quite sure what you mean by "travesty",


    but the style of management you describe is usually characterized, when it doesn't work, as "rudderless".


    I think you'd have to say that the Apple culture is embedded in Mr. Cook, and vice versa, and I, for one,


    am comfortable with him shaping his team as he sees fit.


    This doesn't appear to have been a mistake, in any case.

  • Reply 3 of 60


    This is just tempest-in-a-teapot nonsense. $24M for a senior exec in $600B+ company is peanuts if that person is adding value in spades.


     


    As to there being politics and confusion in an organization this size, especially after the death of an iconic, once-in-a-generation, visionary, founder-CEO... well, you could knock me over with a feather.

  • Reply 4 of 60
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Might also explain the travesty of iMac, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro releases.


     


    Just leave well enough alone, Cook. Let the people who've done so well for Apple pick their own replacements.



     


    Wait, what? How is anything you wore related to the info in the article? Is the guy that everyone wanted to stay on too nice to drive his subordinates hard enough to develop product updates that you like? or is Tim Cook's original choice for Bob's replacement somehow retroactively responsible for the past 13 years of hardware development? Or are you being sarcastic when you use the word "travesty" - I ask because while the all good products in my opinion, there are those who decry the lack of significant updates to the Mac Pro specifically. 


     


    And I am not sure I have ever read anywhere that any group at Apple has ever been in a position to choose who their team leader will be or who they will report to. Not saying that isn't the case, but asking where in this article or Apple's history do you get the info to suggest that Cook, "Just leave well enough alone"? 


     


    So unless you have info that the rest of us do not or are deliberately trying to be abstruse, sardonic or sarcastic, none of which would really surprise me based on your past posts, I just don't see what you are actually trying to convey with your post. 


     
  • Reply 5 of 60
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member


    he's an exec. without a home.  Poor guy.  He's the only SVP without a suffix if you look at the  "Leadership" board.


    http://www.apple.com/pr/bios/

  • Reply 6 of 60


    Originally Posted by boredumb View Post

    Not quite sure what you mean by "travesty",


     


    All three products could have received updates months ago. None did. Unless something significant is being done to all of them about which there are yet no rumors, what other reason than disarray due to this change could there be for Apple to have botched standard updates?


     




    Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

    He's the only SVP without a suffix if you look at the  "Leadership" board.



     


    Because, as the article mentions, he gave that up to another.

  • Reply 7 of 60
    "I'll make him an offer he cannot refuse"

    I think the key issue here is whether or not Riccio can form a cohesive team. He was 10 years in the organization as a VP, and then promoted to Head of iPad development. I can see that as quite a political move, possibly made by Steve (or influenced by Steve).

    Hardware is the core to Apple (no pun intended). The fact they can design HW that can be as powerful as it is, stuff it into Johny Ive's designs, and integrate it so well together is key for great SW and then a great UX is the basis. Cook knows this. A crappy HW design can't be saved by a beautiful skin, a great supply chain or wonderful OSes. He's got to keep HW pumping out great stuff.

    If there is a crisis under Riccio in HW development, and Mansfield can help, then great. But the big issue is Riccio... if the team bolts, they've lost years of experience, at a critical time (they need to be building the TV, or the next Laptop or something that evolves into something that generates huge profits... and it needs to ship next year or the year after, if you look at the iMac, iPod, iPhone, IPad progression.

  • Reply 8 of 60
    neilmneilm Posts: 917member
    "Travesty" has become one of those internet words that people keep writing without knowing what they mean.
  • Reply 9 of 60

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    All three products could have received updates months ago. None did. Unless something significant is being done to all of them about which there are yet no rumors, what other reason than disarray due to this change could there be for Apple to have botched standard updates?



     


    and all three are not in the iPad line. which Riccio headed prior.


     


    But to the that end, I'm seeing coincidence.  There's a lot of issues with Intel (and probably a lot of mental cycles spent on the rdMBP), and I'm sure someone has shown that investing a couple billion in Mac development may return 10B, whereas the same couple Billion in iPad/iPhone development would return $50B, which halos into the Mac business anyway. 

  • Reply 10 of 60


    Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

    "Travesty" has become one of those internet words that people keep writing without knowing what they mean.


     


    Apple has distorted what everyone considers a meaningful release cycle into what becomes an arduous wait for new computers for the entire latter half thereof. Should the next revisions of these products have little to no changes to them that previous, shorter cycle releases had to their predecessors, particularly since chips usable for meaningful updates have long since been released, it would be absurd. 


     


    Happy? 


     



    Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

    and all three are not in the iPad line. which Riccio headed prior.


     


    I don't like him turning computers into a 'once a year, if that' prospect.





    which halos into the Mac business anyway. 


     


    So where ARE all these halo sales? Why have Mac sales been going down? Shouldn't they have 25% marketshare in the US by now?

  • Reply 11 of 60


    Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

    and all three are not in the iPad line. which Riccio headed prior.


     


    I don't like him turning computers into a 'once a year, if that' prospect.






    which halos into the Mac business anyway. 



     


    So where ARE all these halo sales? Why have Mac sales been going down? Shouldn't they have 25% marketshare in the US by now?

  • Reply 12 of 60
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    AI, could you make Bob's picture life sized? It seems a little small.

  • Reply 13 of 60
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member


    hi bob, you didn't really want to retire


     


    here's a few barrels of thousand dollar bills for you. come back next month for more

  • Reply 14 of 60
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Hmm...makes me wonder if Riccio is up to the job. I imagine it was more than one or two disgruntled employees for Cook to offer Mansfield a shitlod of money to stay on.
  • Reply 15 of 60
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    "I'll make him an offer he cannot refuse"
    I think the key issue here is whether or not Riccio can form a cohesive team. He was 10 years in the organization as a VP, and then promoted to Head of iPad development. I can see that as quite a political move, possibly made by Steve (or influenced by Steve).
    Hardware is the core to Apple (no pun intended). The fact they can design HW that can be as powerful as it is, stuff it into Johny Ive's designs, and integrate it so well together is key for great SW and then a great UX is the basis. Cook knows this. A crappy HW design can't be saved by a beautiful skin, a great supply chain or wonderful OSes. He's got to keep HW pumping out great stuff.
    If there is a crisis under Riccio in HW development, and Mansfield can help, then great. But the big issue is Riccio... if the team bolts, they've lost years of experience, at a critical time (they need to be building the TV, or the next Laptop or something that evolves into something that generates huge profits... and it needs to ship next year or the year after, if you look at the iMac, iPod, iPhone, IPad progression.
    I've often wondered how the hardware and design teams get on as in most companies the designers would probably be reporting up through the hardware chief, not directly to the CEO.
  • Reply 16 of 60
    Sheesh...I probably would have considered hanging around for even $1.8 million a month...
  • Reply 17 of 60
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

    Because, as the article mentions, he gave that up to another.


    Duh, I know that...the real question is why?  I suppose speculation is pointless since we probably will never know beyond what this article states.


    I had discussed this very corporate situation a couple weeks ago with a friend.  Glad to know we weren't the only ones who noticed.


     


    Something is shaking up there, and I don't think we've seen the end yet.


     


    This is a little off topic, but related to Corporate structure talks....


    What really needs to be shaken up is the whole "Internet Services" Group.  Eddy's just not cutting the Mustard if he has anything to do with Siri, Maps Data and other internet-based services.  We might have seen the beginnings of a something promising with the current updates to iTunes.  I read an article recently, that talks about how there's a very uneasy air with Apple and internet-based services.  And if they don't do something about it, they will be slave to Google, Bing, Yahoo, et. all for a long time.  Really disappointing that Jobs/et. all never seemed to pay much attention to it.


     


     


    "Apple has a reputation for obsessive attention to detail in its hardware and software products, down to the beveled edges of the iPhone 5 and the shade of the icons on its screen. But it has stubbed its toe again and again when it comes to releasing reliable, well-designed Internet services. Its less proud moments include Ping, a social network for music that never took off; MobileMe, an error-plagued service for synchronizing data between devices; and, more recently, Siri, the voice-activated virtual assistant that is often hard of hearing.


    The company’s weakness in this area could become a bigger problem over time as smartphones become more intimately tied to information and software on the Internet — a field where Google, which makes the competingAndroid phone software, has the home-turf advantage.


    “I always felt if you had to name an Achilles’ heel at Apple, it’s Internet services,” said Andrew Borovsky, a former Apple product designer who worked on MobileMe and now runs his own design firm in New York. “It’s clearly an issue.”


    An Apple spokeswoman, Natalie Kerris, declined to comment.


    Some have sought to pin the blame for the maps debacle on a relaxing of standards under Mr. Cook, who was elevated from the No. 2 position at Apple just over a year ago. He took over shortly before the death of Steven P. Jobs, a notorious perfectionist known to shelve products that did not pass muster.


    But numerous interviews with former Apple employees in the wake of the maps controversy made it clear that Mr. Jobs and other executives rarely paid as much attention to Internet services as they did to the devices for which Apple is best known. Nor did they show the kind of consistent foresight in this area that has served the company so well in designing hardware and software."


    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/29/technology/apple-apologizes-for-misstep-on-maps.html?pagewanted=all


    Here's another good article about this:


    http://gigaom.com/apple/ios-6-maps-debacle-exposes-apples-achillies-heel-services/

  • Reply 18 of 60


    John C. Reilly works at Apple?

  • Reply 19 of 60
    Apple is doing fine -- no more late night phone calls?

    Given Apple's many failures with iOS 6 and perhaps iPhone 5, all of which can and should have been caught prior to public sale, I'd say Apple is definitely not doing fine.

    It may be that Jobs was a pain the asymptote but perhaps this is what is required to come close to building truly great products.
  • Reply 20 of 60

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    This is just tempest-in-a-teapot nonsense. $24M for a senior exec in $600B+ company is peanuts if that person is adding value in spades.


     





    Is the $24 figure believable given how other senior managers might react?


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


     


    As to there being politics and confusion in an organization this size, especially after the death of an iconic, once-in-a-generation, visionary, founder-CEO... well, you could knock me over with a feather.



    Agree. As if Jobs wasn't known for political maneuvers.

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