Ive replacement Jeff Williams 'more visible' in product creation than CEO Cook

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COO Jeff Williams -- who's taking over for exiting design chief Jony Ive -- is typically "more visible" in product development than CEO Tim Cook, a report said on Friday.

Jeff Williams


Williams has "shown interest in products' look and feel," said the Wall Street Journal, citing people who've previously worked with the executive. The sources claimed that it was Williams who helped push the Apple Watch towards cellular support and more health features.

Indeed Apple's bio page now says that he "led the development of Apple Watch in close collaboration with the design team, and oversees the engineering teams responsible for Apple Watch," where until late June it only mentioned that he "also oversees the development of Apple Watch."

One source argued however that Williams "sees where we are, not where we need to be in years to come," since his expertise is in operations rather than design.

Cook has sometimes been criticized for having less of a hands-on approach than his predecessor, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. That may be one reason for Ive's departure, due later in 2019. Cook has denied such allegations.

The decision to install Williams as Ive's effective replacement is due to Apple's difficulty of finding anyone outside of the executive team who can take the role with any real effectiveness, as Ive had to lead a team to conceptualize products then create them into physical products, followed by collaborating with software, hardware, and operations teams to get it produced.

"It would be almost impossible to find someone who can really replace Jony Ive, Technalysis analyst Bob O'Donnell advised. "What they're doing is saying 'let's reallocate how we think about this and put someone else overseeing a few young designers to give them leeway.' It's time for fresh blood. The last few iPhones have looked really similar."

Williams will oversee Evans Hankey, vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, vice president of Human Interface Design. Ive is starting a new firm called LoveFrom that will at least temporarily retain Apple as a client.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    Apple has been in the evolutionary rather than revolutionary product business for 12 years.  Even then, it’s been the parts suppliers that have driven innovation.  CEO Cook is quality control.  That’s worked out fine so far...

    The next step forward (revolutionary) is likely battery innovation, it’s very limiting for product design.
    edited July 5
  • Reply 2 of 31
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 718member
    Williams background is a worry but his work for Apple Watch is quite genius really. Having EKG and fall detection, and now noise monitoring is genius. Excited to see what Apple Watch will bring for us next. 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 3 of 31
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,943member
    Apple has been in the evolutionary rather than revolutionary product business for 12 years.  Even then, it’s been the parts suppliers that have driven innovation.  CEO Cook is quality control.  That’s worked out fine so far...

    The next step forward (revolutionary) is likely battery innovation, it’s very limiting for product design.
    Actually, Apple has been in the iterative (evolutionary) product development business almost since its inception. Gruber wrote about this almost a decade ago. Read up:


    ...iterative product development is the name of the game. It’s now we got from the original iPhone/Mac/Watch/whatever to the current versions, or iterations.

    Revolutions are few and far between. 

    I’d also love new battery chemistry discoveries, but some of what I’ve seen is pessimistic about this happening. 
    edited July 5 tmayJWSCviclauyycmattinozGeorgeBMacMacQc
  • Reply 4 of 31
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,127unconfirmed, member
    I could be wrong but he seems too "technical" where Ive was more simple. Just what I gather from his speeches.

    Either way I stopped reading at "says the Wall Street Journal".

    Apple has been in the evolutionary rather than revolutionary product business for 12 years.  Even then, it’s been the parts suppliers that have driven innovation.  CEO Cook is quality control.  That’s worked out fine so far...

    The next step forward (revolutionary) is likely battery innovation, it’s very limiting for product design.

    Why are people repeating this?

    Apple Watch, iPad, HomePod, AirPods mean anything to you?
    cornchipJWSC
  • Reply 5 of 31
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,333member
    "The last few iPhones have looked really similar."

     :|  :| :|  🙄
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 6 of 31
    irelandireland Posts: 17,616member
    Steve wasn’t a designer, a business major, nor a programmer. Hester Blumenthal isn’t a qualified chef. We all have our wrinkles.
    edited July 5 StrangeDaysAppleExposedJWSCelijahgGeorgeBMacMacQcFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 7 of 31
    One source argued however that Williams "sees where we are, not where we need to be in years to come," since his expertise is in operations rather than design.”

    Steve wasn’t always perfect in his predictions either, so let’s give him a chance. At least he and Craig admitted the trash can Mac Pro was a POS and gave us hope when they said they were going to redo it and get back into making displays. 

  • Reply 8 of 31
    gilly33gilly33 Posts: 254member
    Why the heck are we reading about reports from the WSJ. Not interested in anything they have to say. 
    AppleExposedStrangeDaysSpamSandwich
  • Reply 9 of 31
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,705member
    Is this really news worthy? Cook has a day to day job of running the company!

    If you have to micromanage your staff, why hire them in the first place?
    edited July 5
  • Reply 10 of 31
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 567member
    ....from what I've read and experienced, Steve Jobs had design judgement or as he once said 'the problem with microsoft is they just have no taste'... I've read he was interested in the liberal arts, auditing courses such as calligraphy, and purportedly micro managed including font selections and colors for marketing... I deal with engineers all the time, and differences in judgement can be astounding - let's hope those entrusted with making such in the future will have it... Good design (guest) critique has been historically considered both elemental and invaluable...
    elijahgGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 11 of 31
    Is this the same Wall Street Journal that printed that last crap about Ive leaving? That one that caused Daniel to rail on their incompetent reporting?

    That Wall Street Journal?
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 12 of 31
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,895member
    jungmark said:
    Is this really news worthy? Cook has a day to day job of running the company!

    If you have to micromanage your staff, why hire them in the first place?
    Because apparently, Steve Jobs was more interested in what a product looked like rather than actually running the Apple as a CEO. Steve gives the impression that any CEO after him should do the same as him and be more worried about the products and what they look like rather than running Apple, the company itself. 

    I totally don't agree with this thinking, but judging by comments here and other forums, this is apparently what some want in an Apple CEO. 
    tmay
  • Reply 13 of 31
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,875member
    The crap over Ive leaving is way overblown... The people who work under him do not run to him for every little decision... And they won't do the same when Jeff takes over. Like Steve, Jony was smart enough to make sure the people he hired know what they're doing and are capable of doing their jobs without being micro-managed.

    It's been said that he's leaving because he's tired of working with consumer products and most likely this continued partnership with Apple will be for other things... leaving product design to his current team.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 14 of 31
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,182member
    Apple has been in the evolutionary rather than revolutionary product business for 12 years.  Even then, it’s been the parts suppliers that have driven innovation.  CEO Cook is quality control.  That’s worked out fine so far...

    The next step forward (revolutionary) is likely battery innovation, it’s very limiting for product design.
    Actually, Apple has been in the iterative (evolutionary) product development business almost since its inception. Gruber wrote about this almost a decade ago. Read up:


    ...iterative product development is the name of the game. It’s now we got from the original iPhone/Mac/Watch/whatever to the current versions, or iterations.

    Revolutions are few and far between. 

    I’d also love new battery chemistry discoveries, but some of what I’ve seen is pessimistic about this happening. 
    Off topic, but are you familiar with the “glass battery”?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass_battery
  • Reply 15 of 31
    mike54mike54 Posts: 338member
    I hope there is at least one Apple exec that cares deeply about products and design and its future more so than they do about the board and the institutional shareholders.
    Examples like ignoring products for 4-5 years, cancelling key products, charging port underneath mouse, poor thermal performance of products, missteps in quality control and design, lack of useful ports etc, these are basic things that need to be addressed.

    As a side note, I'm not a fan putting Li batteries in keyboards/mice as the batteries are not replaceable and hence they have a limited lifetime being used wireless, resulting in waste. The previous AA batt models just keep lasting, basically make alot more sense.


    edited July 5
  • Reply 16 of 31
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 718member
    cornchip said:
    "The last few iPhones have looked really similar."

     :|  :| :|  ߙ䦬t;/div>
    Yeah.. WSJ has to stick the boot in somehow. I don’t see how anyone can say iPhone X is similar to previous generation iPhone. WSJ has shown it’s true color here. 
    edited July 6
  • Reply 17 of 31
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 558member
    One source argued however that Williams "sees where we are, not where we need to be in years to come," since his expertise is in operations rather than design.”

    Steve wasn’t always perfect in his predictions either, so let’s give him a chance. At least he and Craig admitted the trash can Mac Pro was a POS and gave us hope when they said they were going to redo it and get back into making displays. 

    The "trash can Mac Pro was a POS" is simply another way of saying "can't innovate my ass".
    edited July 6
  • Reply 18 of 31
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,668member
    ...

    One source argued however that Williams "sees where we are, not where we need to be in years to come," since his expertise is in operations rather than design.

    ...
    Yeh, OK....  That's cool.
    Apple needs a bit of a reset from their likely Ives' propagated fixation on thin, light, minimalist designs and needs to pay some attention to functionality and pragmatiism....

    The limitations in the Mac line are examples of a great ideas that got carried too far:
    --  Ask a 'normal' person to walk into an Apple store and ask them to identify which are MacBooks, MacBook Airs or MacBook Pros.   They can't because they are all just variations off of the same form-factor design.
    --  Apple's welcome departure from sleek design to the industrial themed, modularity of the new MacPro
    -- Apple's rumored abandonment of the much hated Butterfly keyboard.

    I think that a taste of pragmatism to weed out some of the holes and problems created by blind, unwavering adherence to a limited design ideology may open things up at Apple.   Both are necessary to create great products.
    edited July 6
  • Reply 19 of 31
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,668member
    jungmark said:
    Is this really news worthy? Cook has a day to day job of running the company!

    If you have to micromanage your staff, why hire them in the first place?
    There is a fine line between active involvement and micromanaging -- and often the difference lies in perspective and the quality of the person making the distinction.

    The best management I worked with were willing and able to become intimately involved in projects -- enough to get down and get their hands dirty when needed -- but were equally capable of stepping back and letting the employee fly when that was needed.

    And, the best employees were quite comfortable in either mode.  They had the confidence and self-assurance to tolerate ideas, suggestions, oversight and out right orders as well as work on their own.

    A lot of it, very simply, depends on the person.   It's why Steve looked for "A" level employees for important projects and said (correctly) that "A" level people don't like to work with "B" or "C" level people.
    edited July 6
  • Reply 20 of 31
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,668member
    macxpress said:
    jungmark said:
    Is this really news worthy? Cook has a day to day job of running the company!

    If you have to micromanage your staff, why hire them in the first place?
    Because apparently, Steve Jobs was more interested in what a product looked like rather than actually running the Apple as a CEO. Steve gives the impression that any CEO after him should do the same as him and be more worried about the products and what they look like rather than running Apple, the company itself. 

    I totally don't agree with this thinking, but judging by comments here and other forums, this is apparently what some want in an Apple CEO. 
    I think even Steve realized that he couldn't be replaced.  But he spent his last years setting up an environment and an organization where his spirit could live on through his child:  Apple.  
    Tim Cook was part of that.   So was Apple Park.

    Tim clearly realizes that he is no Steve Jobs.  So he offers HIS best and all of his unique talents to insure the future success of the organization that they both loved.


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