Apple hardware boss Dan Riccio will step down from his current role to focus on a secret, mysterious project, the company has said.
He will be replaced at the top of Apple’s hardware engineering division by John Ternus, another veteran of the company.
Mr Riccio will instead “transition to a new role focusing on a new project and reporting to CEO Tim Cook”, Apple said.
The new project is something “new and wonderful that I couldn’t be more excited about”, Mr Riccio said, but neither he or the company gave any information on what that might be.
Apple commentator John Gruber suggested the latter was most likely, “simply because I’m certain the headset is closer”. “I think it’s a sign that the headset is ready to get real, and Apple wants someone as capable as Riccio to lead it with nothing else on his plate,” he wrote on his blog Daring Fireball.
Mr Riccio joined Apple in 1998, and in 2012 joined its executive team as leader of its hardware engineering division. Through his career he has worked on everything from the first iMac to the last year’s new 5G iPhone, new Apple Silicon Macs and the AirPods Max.
“Working at Apple has been the opportunity of a lifetime, spent making the world’s best products with the most talented people you could imagine,” said Mr Riccio in a statement released by Apple.
“After 23 years of leading our Product Design or Hardware Engineering teams — culminating with our biggest and most ambitious product year ever — it’s the right time for a change. Next up, I’m looking forward to doing what I love most — focusing all my time and energy at Apple on creating something new and wonderful that I couldn’t be more excited about.”