Apple names Jeff Williams COO, a job once held by Tim Cook

Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:34pm EST
 
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By Julia Love

SAN FRANCISCO/BENGALURU (Reuters) - Apple Inc promoted longtime executive Jeff Williams to the role of chief operating officer, reinstating the title previously held by Chief Executive Tim Cook, as part of a series of changes to the company's leadership team.

Williams, who joined Apple in 1998, previously served as senior vice president of operations and oversaw development of the Apple Watch, the company's first new product since the iPad.

In charge of the iPhone maker's supply chain, and service and support operations, he also looked after the company's social responsibility initiatives.

"Jeff is hands-down the best operations executive I've ever worked with," Cook said in a statement.

Williams' new job vaults him into the elite group of C-level executives, which includes chief design officer Jony Ive.

The title change formalizes a role Williams had been playing since Cook's promotion, said analyst Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies.

"(Williams) was trained by Tim," he said. "He was the right person to take that position."

While it was unclear if the appointment meant Apple was grooming Williams to be Cook's successor, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a source, that the move did not necessarily signal that.   Continued...

 
Jeff Williams Apple's senior vice president of Operations, speaks about the Hermes watchband for the Apple Watch, during an Apple media event in San Francisco, California, September 9, 2015. Reuters/Beck Diefenbach