Apple confirms iPhone UI creator’s departure, shoots down ill-founded power struggle claim

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 10, 2014

Yesterday, blogger Mark Gurman reported that Apple’s Vice President of Human Interface, Greg Christie, will be leaving the company. Christie’s name is on a hundred Apple patents, among them the famous slide-to-unlock invention asserted in its second California patent trial against Samsung.

The herald of Apple’s iOS design aesthetic, his departure was framed as a significant loss for the company based on Gurman’s assertion that Christie was forced out due to his falling out with Jony Ive, Apple’s SVP of Design, over iOS design direction.

However, turns out that Gurman’s sources were wrong: Apple on Thursday denied the claim of an internal power struggle. Christie’s departure after 18 years of service was planned and is part of a leadership transition inside the Human Interface group, Apple said in a statement to several media outlets… Read More

 

iPhone UI creator Greg Christie departing after falling out with Jony Ive over iOS design direction

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 9, 2014

Ever since Tim Cook took the reigns at Apple, the firm’s been in a perpetual shakeup mode. The most famous change at the top occurred on October 29, 2012, the day a press release was put out saying “Scott Forstall will be leaving Apple” the following year.

The unexpected change saw Apple’s lead hardware designer Jony Ive assume a greater role as he got to “provide leadership and direction” for Apple’s Human Interface (HI) group across the company, on top of his longtime role as the leader of Industrial Design.

With Ive in charge of all design at the company, Apple has ushered in a new era of visual simplicity with the release of iOS 7 last September, representing the biggest rethinking of the iPhone’s user interface since the handset’s inception.

However, a new report asserts that collaboration between Ive and Apple’s Vice President of Human Interface, Greg Christie, has been a rocky one

In fact, Christie is rumored to be leaving Apple soon as a result of his falling out with Ive over the iOS’s design direction… Read More

 

Apple poaches VP of Amazon A9′s Search Technology group

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 8, 2014

Apple has made another high-profile hire, having poached Benoit Dupin, Vice President of Amazon A9′s Search Technology group, according to the executive’s professional business profile on LinkedIn.

Benoit, who brings over fifteen years of international technology industry experience within a wide range of disciplines, has left Amazon to help Apple improve search features in its own mapping service, sources speculated on Tuesday.

He isn’t the first Amazon executive to have left for 1 Infinite Loop. Back in October 2012, Apple hired away another prominent Amazon search technologist, William Stasior, who is now working with the Siri team… Read More

 

Apple’s PRODUCT (RED) contributions top $70 million

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 4, 2014

Product Red - styled as (PRODUCT)RED - is a marketing brand licensed to other companies, established in 2006 by U2 frontman and activist, Bono, together with Bobby Shriver of the ONE/DATA, with the goal of raising awareness and funds to help eliminate HIV/AIDS in Africa.

The initiative earns money on each participating Product Red sale and proceeds go straight to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Apple’s been one of Product Red backers since its inception, thanks mostly to late Steve Jobs who was on good terms with Bono. Product Red today announced that Apple’s contributions to the charity have reached a cool $70 million… Read More

 

Chomp co-founder leaving Apple after two years

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 26, 2014

Apple bought the popular app discovery engine, Chomp, in 2012 for the reported $50 million. Soon thereafter, Cook & Co. shut down Chomp’s web service and native apps, including Chomp for Android.

And now, about two years into the acquisition, Chomp’s co-founder and CTO Cathy Edwards will be reportedly leaving the company on April 11, a new report has it.

Apple has bought Chomp for both its talent and the startup’s advanced analytics and recommendation engine and is thought to have used Chomp technology’s to improve app discovery with a few refinements, including the latest feature that enables related search suggestions in the App StoreRead More

 

Apple looking to add acquisition analysts to its M&A team

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 10, 2014

Apple is looking to boost its Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) team by hiring acquisition integration analysts, giving us a vague indication that a more diligent strategy to snapping up other companies could be in the cards for the Cupertino firm.

The new job position was posted earlier today on Apple’s job listings website and reported on by Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac. A listing for Acquisition Integration Analyst reveals that Apple is looking for an M&A expert to assist in its acquisitions, by working with the company’s HR, Legal, IS&T, Real Estate, Operations, Finance and Tax departments… Read More

 

Spotify snaps up music intelligence provider The Echo Nest

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 6, 2014

The popular Swedish music-streaming startup, Spotify, has just purchased The Echo Nest, a music intelligence company in the business of synthesizing billions of data points and transforming them “into musical understanding to power smarter music applications for our customers”.

And just who those customers might be? Well, the startup powers a myriad of music services, among them Spotify rivals like Rdio, iHeartRadio, Nokia MixRadio, Twitter Music and others so this is clearly a well played move on Spotify’s part.

While The Echo Nest will meet all contractual obligations to all customers, Spotify’s Graham James made it clear his company will scrutinize these relationships and “determine the next business steps”Read More

 

Apple announces finance chief Peter Oppenheimer to retire at the end of September

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2014

Apple has just announced via a media release that its longtime finance chief Peter Oppenheimer will be retiring at the end of September, ending a roughly 18-year career at the technology giant. The company called it a planned transition so he could take time for himself and his family.

In naming his successor, Apple said Luca Maestri, 50, will gradually take over as CFO in June to allow for a smooth transition. As per the release, during Oppenheimer’s CFO time, Apple’s revenue “grew from $8 to $171 billion”.

It’s interesting that Maestri left Nokia in February 2011, the same month the struggling Finnish cellphone giant announced they were adopting Microsoft’s Windows Phone. He joined Apple in March of last year.. Read More

 

WSJ: Apple hiring engineers from HTC and other Asian firms to speed up product launches

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2014

Unlike the specs-obsessed technology industry which has always been dependent on frequent product refreshes, Apple continues to traditionally update its iPhone annually. Now, some industry peers – such as Sony – warned that the company may be “missing out” by not updating the iPhone twice per year.

Playing on this sentiment, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is now adding “hundreds of new engineers” and supply-chain managers in China and Taiwan. The company is hiring away these people from various tech firms, including rival HTC, reportedly in order to speed up product development and launch a wider range of devices… Read More

 

Apple’s CFO Peter Oppenheimer lands a seat on the Goldman Sachs board

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2014

Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, has joined the Board of Directors of investment banking firm Goldman Sachs. The appointment brings the Goldman Sachs board to thirteen directors, ten of whom are independent.

According to a newly published webpage over at Goldman Sachs, Oppenheimer will be a member of each of the firm’s Audit, Risk, Compensation and Corporate Governance, Nominating and Public Responsibilities committees.

“Peter’s 25 years of broad experience across important industries will add a valuable perspective to our Board of Directors,” said Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and CEO in a prepared statement. “We appreciate his willingness to serve as a director and look forward to benefitting from his judgment and counsel”… Read More

 

Verizon completes purchase of Vodafone’s 45% stake in Verizon Wireless

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 21, 2014

Verizon last September announced that it has reached an agreement with Vodafone to buyout its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless in one of the largest corporate acquisitions in history.

In December, the Big Red carrier won necessary approvals from the Federal Communications Commission and today the company announced that the acquisition has been completed - Verizon now owns 100 percent of the “industry-leading U.S. wireless carrier”Read More

 

Aerial photo shows significant demolition progress being made at iSpaceship site

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 19, 2014

Apple’s upcoming new headquarters, Campus 2 aka iSpaceship, has cleared the last remaining hurdle after the Cupertino City Council unanimously approved the project in November 2013. Apple has since started demolishing the site.

Ron Cervi, news and traffic reporter for KCBS, has posted a nice-looking aerial photograph of the site on his Instagram profile, showing significant demolition progress being made… Read More

 

After spending 12 years with Apple, head of Technology Advancement Group retires

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 19, 2014

NetworkWorld is reporting that Brett Bilbrey, head of Apple’s Technology Advancement Group, has retired after spending nearly twelve years with the company.

During his tenure at Apple, Bilbrey has contributed to a number of projects and was a prolific inventor whose name can be found on a number of patent filings detailing such inventions as a wireless charging system or a 3D imaging camera for iOS devices.

He is also credited with a recent filing for a dynamic, reconfigurable and touch-sensitive keyboard. Most recently, as of August 2008, Bilbrey was heading up Apple’s Technology Advancement Group. But what exactly does the group do? Read on… Read More

 

Jony Ive’s brief removal from Apple’s Leadership page blamed on a technical glitch

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 17, 2014

After being promoted to Apple’s Senior Vice President of all Design, London-born industrial designer Jony Ive’s prominence both internally and externally has raised tremendously as a result. Ive’s become arguably the most important Apple exec as he now gets to control and oversee key aspects of the company’s product development efforts.

According to Walter Isaacson’s bio book on Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder ensured there was no one at the company to boss Jony around. Small wonder then that the blogosphere went into overdrive as Ive’s bio photo disappeared from Apple’s corporate Leadership web page earlier this morning, albeit only briefly.

The page wouldn’t show Ive among the high-ranked Apple executives, such as CEO Tim Cook and SVP of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller. Making matter even more peculiar, the URL never stopped working and would continue to take visitors to Ive’s bio page.

Shortly after Ive’s photo was back up again, an Apple spokesperson said in a written statement that the brief removal was the work of a technical glitch and cautioned bloggers not to read too much into it… Read More

 

Former Cercacor CTO Marcelo Lamego joins Apple and other iWatch hires

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 13, 2014

Apple’s hiring spree of biosensor experts continues with the latest revelation pointing to another high-profile executive hire.

According to the newest scoop by NetworkWorld, the former chief technology officer of non-invasive patient monitoring company Cercacor, Marcelo Lamego, has joined Apple’s iWatch team.

Apple has been hiring some of the world’s top experts in sleep research, medical devices and biosensing, fueling speculation that its rumored wearable device will focus on health and fitness trackingRead More

 

Apple’s VP of iPad and Mac operations retires

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 11, 2014

Apple has lost one of its key iPad and Mac executives, Rita Lane, who has retired from the company, according to her public LinkedIn profile highlighted by Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac. Her role at Apple as Vice President of Operations was a significant one.

As such, she was instrumental in helping manage Apple’s supply chain and manufacturing for iPads, Macs and Mac accessories. Lane worked under the supervision of Apple’s Senior Vice President of Operations, Jeff Williams, who took over from the previous op-chief Tim Cook, now the Apple CEO… Read More

 

As institutional investors side with Apple, Carl Icahn withdraws his buyback proposal

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 10, 2014

Controversial activist investor Carl Icahn continues to aggressively purchase shares of Apple while insisting that the company increase the size of its share buyback program. His proposal for a $50 billion buyback has been met with resistance by proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) which now recommends voting against the plan.

ISS argues that the Apple board has already returned the bulk of its U.S.-generated cash to shareholders through the company’s aggressive stock buybacks and dividends payouts. As a result of large institutional investors siding with Apple, Icahn has withdrawn his proposal… Read More

 

Apple reportedly poaches sleep and activity monitoring Philips expert for iWatch team

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 4, 2014

In another round of high-profile corporate hires, Apple has apparently poached a sleep research expert from the Dutch technology company Philips.

Specifically, Roy J.E.M Raymann used to lead sleep research at Philips Research, the company’s research and development arm. Not anymore: it’s now assumed he joined Apple’s iWatch team.

According to a new report, this particular guy is experienced in wearables, sensors and non-pharmacological methods of improving sleep quality, an indication that Apple’s rumored wearable project will be much, much more than a smartwatch… Read More

 

Microsoft names Satya Nadella new CEO, Bill Gates steps down as Chairman

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 4, 2014

The search for a new Microsoft CEO following Steve Ballmer’s August 2013 announcement of his retirement is finally over as the Windows maker on Tuesday announced major executive changes at the top. Insider Satya Nadella has become the new Microsoft boss and a board member.

He previously held the position of Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group and is the third Microsoft CEO since the company’s inception. Also important, Bill Gates will be stepping down as Chairman but will retain a board seat serving as an adviser. Lead independent director John Thompson would succeed Gates as Chairman, the software giant said… Read More

 

Apple celebrates Mac’s 30th anniversary with new video shot entirely on iPhone 5s, edited on Mac

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 3, 2014

OK, Apple didn’t exactly return to Super Bowl with a 30th Mac anniversary ad like advertising legend Lee Clow a week ago hinted it would, but that doesn’t mean the company is letting the Super Bowl ad blitz mute its message.

Not only did Apple celebrate the occasion by letting ABC News and MacWorld interview CEO Tim Cook, it also posted an interactive Mac timeline on Apple.com and a new ‘Happy Birthday, Mac’ section on the Mac App Store, dressed up retail stores’ window displays in Mac-themed graphics and hung commemorative posters up on the walls of its Cupertino HQ.

The company even hid a custom font on its servers featuring gorgeous Mac model icons. And now, Apple has posted a new video on its homepage dedicated to the 30 years of Mac innovation. The 125-second clip was shot entirely on iPhones and edited on Macs, have a look at it right below the fold and meet us in comments… Read More

 
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