Apple's SVP Of Hardware Engineering To Retire; Dan Riccio Taking Over

Big news out of Apple this week: Bob Mansfield, Apple's senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, is retiring. It's a big decision due to Apple's dominance on hardware in the past few years. Even those who don't approve of Apple's approaches would have a tough time saying that their design aspects are poor. Bob clearly had a lot to do with that, but in typical Apple fashion, there's already someone waiting in the wings to take over. The role ill be transitioned to Dan Riccio, Apple's vice president of iPad Hardware Engineering, over several months. The entire hardware engineering team will continue to report to Mansfield until his departure.

Bob has been an instrumental part of our executive team, leading the hardware engineering organization and overseeing the team that has delivered dozens of breakthrough products over the years," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We are very sad to have him leave and hope he enjoys every day of his retirement."

"Dan has been one of Bob's key lieutenants for a very long time and is very well respected within Apple and by the industry," added Cook. "Our hardware engineering team is the best engineering team on earth and will not miss a beat during the transition."

Bob has been leading Mac hardware engineering since 2005, while he's touched on iPhone and iPod hardware since 2010 and iPad since its inception. Mansfield joined Apple in 1999 when Apple acquired Raycer Graphics, where he was vice president of Engineering. Riccio currently serves as vice president of iPad Hardware Engineering, but he'll definitely be looking at a lot more in the coming months. Naturally, critics will be looking for how -- if at all -- things change on the hardware front.