Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal published a profile on Apple’s COO, Jeff Williams, investigating what made the executive the most likely choice as the company’s next CEO. Now, Mark Gurman, from Bloomberg, also analyzed how Williams’ figure is viewed internally, by the Cupertino giant’s own employees.
Citing anonymous sources from Apple’s design team – which was led by Jony Ive, who announced his departure from the company last month -, Gurman says Apple employees trust Williams and that even a weekly design team meeting called “review of new products” was called “review of Jeff”, since it is him that employees need to impress.
In addition to taking on part of the commitments to the Apple design industry, Williams leads the entire Apple supply chain, AppleCare, the company’s health division and the development of the Apple Watch – which gave Apple some headaches. (and Williams) in 2015.
More than extolling the executive’s tasks, the Bloomberg it also equates the figure of Williams to that of the current CEO of the company, Tim Cook.
He [Jeff Williams] is the closest we have to Tim Cook, and he wants to know more, if you think Cook is doing a good job, then [ele] it will be a good choice.
Also according to Gurman, the entire company has a “discreet chain of command” and Apple is no different, with Williams right behind Cook. This exists in the event that something happens to the company’s CEO (just as it did to Steve Jobs) and someone needs to take control immediately.
The big question mark is whether Apple will remain innovative, since only a few company executives are from the company’s “golden age”, which mainly brought together Jobs and Ive – said Michael Gartenberg, a former marketing employee at Apple.
You don’t necessarily have to be a visionary to be Apple’s CEO, as long as there is a visionary in the company that the CEO can work with. Tim Cook had Jony Ive. The question is, with Ive gone, who will be the visionary of the company that will be able to guide the next big thing?
Problems creating the Apple Watch
The report of Bloomberg it also highlights a problematic and particularly important moment of Williams’ influence in the creation of the Apple Watch. In the months leading up to the official launch of the first generation of the gadget, in 2015, some company employees who were testing the device pointed out problems of allergic reaction to nickel used in the watch’s chassis.
Result: when he learned of the problem, the executive chose to discard all the stock of watches that Apple had already produced and bought another material to replace nickel. At the same time, other testers from the company also noted that the Apple Watch’s Taptic Engine was subject to failures caused by component corrosion; in this case, Williams decided to give the “few thousand units” of the watch to the lucky employees.
Williams also had to deal with the “disappointment” in sales of the first Apple Watch Edition (which started at $ 10,000), as well as Ive, who plunged headlong into creating the first generation of the gadget. It is worth remembering that the luxury model was discontinued in 2016 and offers support only up to watchOS 4.