Dan Riccio to "transition" into special role as Apple annoints Jon Ternus new SVP of Hardware Engineering
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Apple doesn’t often change up its senior management team, so when it does, it invariably makes news. As a company known for its hardware, there are probably fewer more important roles than senior vice president of hardware, a position held by Dan Riccio since 2012. Apple has now announced that Riccio will be replaced by John Ternus, who most recently led the development of the new iPhone 12 range. Riccio will report directly to CEO Tim Cook as he transitions into a new, unspecified, project.
Riccio has been at Apple for a 23 year period and rose to the role of senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, replacing the highly revered Bob Mansfield. Although apparently well-regarded within Apple according to Apple insider John Gruber, Riccio has presided over some of the most controversial hardware fails in Apple history. This includes not only the introduction of the very short travel butterfly keyboard mechanism, but the repeated failure over several generations to get the design working properly.
Riccio also presided over the spectacular AirPower charging mat fail, which was a major embarrassment for the company. In a rare move, the device was publicly revealed by Apple ahead of its launch and was ultimately cancelled after the hardware team couldn’t make it work within certain performance parameters. The 2016 redesign of the MacBook Pro range not only introduced customers to a dongle hell (something Apple seems intent on reversing with the next-gen models) the high-end models repeatedly suffered from thermal throttling issues. There were also other miscellaneous quality issues with Apple hardware during Riccio’s reign some of which can be found on Apple's current Service Program website.
It will be interesting to see the impact that John Ternus has on the evolution of Apple hardware engineering over the coming years.