Late last night, Apple announced a change in one of its executives. Dan Riccio, until now Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering, is going to deal with a “new project” at Apple. In his place, John Ternus will take on his responsibilities as a member of the executive team.
Reduction of responsibilities as a step prior to leaving Apple
Working at Apple has been the opportunity of my life, dedicated to making the best products in the world with the most talented people one could imagine. After 23 years leading the Product Design and Hardware Engineering teams, culminating in our biggest and most ambitious year, it is time for a change.
Dan Riccio has been responsible for the hardware of all Apple products released in these more than two decades. As Apple’s press release mentions, his work has taken him from the original iMac to the iPhone 12, AirPods Max and MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with M1. All of them released at the end of last year.
Riccio’s role has been instrumental in Apple’s history. Of course, he has not had so much time in front of the public like other prominent members, as can be Craig Federighi. He has occasionally appeared in videos released during a keynote, recounting aspects of new products.
Riccio will now take on a new project, reporting directly to Tim Cook. To our knowledge, there are only two great products yet to launch: augmented or virtual reality glasses and Apple’s car. While the glasses will be released in the next few years, the car has a much longer time horizon.
These types of movements and changes in the Apple dome are usually the prelude to a departure from the company. Last year Phil Schiller became an Apple Fellow, leaving his marketing responsibilities to Greg Joswiak. And a year earlier, Jony Ive announced the creation of a design company that would have Apple as a client, as a way to leave the spotlight aside.
As we can see, the company’s exits are not abrupt, but rather transition to a role that involves fewer responsibilities. A step prior to the final departure of Apple.
John Ternus makes his way into Apple
Dan Riccio’s replacement is John Ternus, who has been with the company since 2001. Started on Apple’s product design team and was promoted to Vice President of Hardware Engineering in 2013, the same team as Riccio.
Throughout his nearly 20 years at Apple, Ternus has overseen hardware engineering work on a variety of groundbreaking products, including the first AirPods and every generation of iPad. Most recently, Ternus led the hardware team responsible for the incredible iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, and has been a key leader in the transition to Macs with Apple Silicon.
The achievements of Ternus, 45, are quite remarkable. As Apple tells it, it seems that Ternus was preparing this last year for the new position. And it did so in the development of the 6.1-inch iPhone and the transition to Apple Silicon, an examination that has passed with honors.
In recent years, Apple has opted for promote employees from your quarry to take on key executive positions, rather than turn to outside talent. One way to secure talent is by creating long-term career opportunities, through internal promotion.