When the output pump Jony Ive fell on Cupertino last week, the question most asked by people around the world was: who will replace it? Of course, the official story is that the legendary designer will continue to serve Apple through his newly founded studio, but in practice, Ive been out; Someone needs to sit in his chair and at least give the commands he gave and think things he thought (though not necessarily the same way).
In fact, no one will occupy the position that Ive held (and hold until the end of the year) in Cupertino of CDO, but one person will perform the role of “spiritual successor” to the designer: COO Jeff Williams. AND who Jeff Williams, anyway? The executive is one of Apple's strongest figures, but does not have the same public presence as executives like Phil Schiller or Craig Federighi. To further explore Williams's profile, the Wall Street Journal went to the field.
According to people working with COO, he is more “visible” in product development than the CEO Tim cook and seems to show more interest in opting for details of the devices was Williams, for example, one of the minds behind Apple Watch's transition from luxury fashion to health-focused accessory with cellular connectivity. In fact, Apple's executive biography was recently changed to inform him that he “led the development of Apple Watch”; before, she only said that he supervised the watch team.
Of course, still, Williams is far from being a designer or, even more, a designer like Ive. One of the sources heard by WSJ He said the executive has the talent to "see where the company is at the moment, and not where it should be in the next few years", a direct reflection of its role in running Apple's operations. Williams also does not perform direct design functions, but the two main names of the company in the area (Evans Hankey, vice president of industrial design, and Alan Dye, vice president of human design interfaces) will respond to him.
Perhaps it is better to see COO as a calming figure than to manage Apple's day-to-day design, without necessarily influencing the decisions of these teams but showing an interest in product details rather than Cook's character. In fact, Williams is one of the top rated in the report to take on the role of CEO, in the future what seems to be an increasingly formidable challenge on an Apple without Jobs and now without Ive.