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Bob Mansfield Retiring from Apple

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Apple Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield is retiring from the company, according to a press release from Apple. Mansfield has been at Apple for 13 years, and is one of the key senior managers at the company. He has also enjoyed prominent visibility in Apple’s product introduction videos, where he talks about the impressive internal components that make up the machines.

Mansfield was also instrumental shortly after the iPhone 4 was released, when criticism of its external antenna prompted Apple to call a press conference to explain that interference wasn’t unique to the iPhone (see “Apple Responds to iPhone 4 Antenna Issue,” 16 July 2010). He, Steve Jobs, and Tim Cook took to the stage after the presentation and participated in a frank question-and-answer session. (A streaming video of the event is online, although the Q&A portion isn’t included.)

Mansfield is not a petite man, and in a world of slender people with tiny hands, there was always a slight disconnect between seeing a big man and his beefy fingers discuss the tiny components in Apple computers and mobile devices. Our friend John Moltz ribbed Mansfield gently during the 2009 Macworld Expo, noting, “Big Bob Mansfield. Ask for him by name. Accept no substitutes.”

According to Apple, Mansfield’s role will be transitioned to Dan Riccio, Apple’s vice president of iPad Hardware Engineering.


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Comments about Bob Mansfield Retiring from Apple
(Comments are closed.)

Tim Bayly  2012-07-03 11:14
Honestly, Jeff; his weight? That's what you thought should be the substance of your article on the loss of Bob Mansfield at Apple? I've been reading TidBITS for over fifteen years and I've never commented negatively on anything you've done. In fact, I've regularly promoted your work as the best source for all things Apple.

His weight? His beefy fingers? A slight disconnect in a world of slender people?

These are the teeny tiny morals that Apple fans specialize in. I'd hope TidBITS wouldn't pander to them.

Jeff Carlson  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-07-03 11:42
Glenn and I talked about this before publishing the article. The comment isn't about his weight. The man has large hands, which is amazing to me given that he's in charge of working on delicate, tiny components. Yes, he doesn't manufacture every piece, but I would be extremely surprised if he wasn't very hands-on with all of the miniaturized components.
Glenn Fleishman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-07-03 11:44
As a man of some heft myself, I suggested the paragraph to Jeff. I wasn't referring to his weight: Bob is a large man in the way a boxer is large. He has enormous hands, and I was always mesmerized by them in the videos. (I have medium-sized sausage fingers myself.)

What you may read as being a joke about his weight is actually recognizing the reality of his size. Apple executives (like other Silicon Valley executives) tend towards the unmuscled.