Apple Hardware Engineering Exec Bob Mansfield Taken Off Leadership Team Page, Moved to 'Special Projects'

Usually, when Apple's site changes, people notice. However, it's typically because the online e-tailer section goes down, with a small yellow note suggesting that one should check back later. At that stage, it's practically a given that a new product is being added to the store, which obviously builds all kinds of excitement. But this change is a different one, and we're guessing that Apple didn't expect most to spot it on a Sunday evening. Over the weekend, Senior Vice President of Technologies Bob Mansfield's biography was yanked from a page showcasing Apple's leadership team.

Mansfield has played a huge role in the surge of Apple during the past 10 years, and in October of last year, CEO Tim Cook said that he would be staying around as a senior VP for two more years -- originally, Mansfield intended to retire, but Cook swayed him to stay. Now, Apple is confirming that he's no longer a Senior VP, but is still an Apple employee. He'll be reporting directly to Cook working on unnamed "special projects." (iWatch, perhaps?)

Presently, the company lacks a COO, a head of retail, and now a Senior VP of Technologies. One has to wonder if it has any intentions of replacing those roles, or just leaving things as-is. Strange days, huh?