Outside confusion over roles at Apple perhaps sign it’s kicking “special projects” into high gear


When Apple(s AAPL) CEO Tim Cook said earlier this year he was doubling down on secrecy, he apparently wasn’t kidding. The company has made some very puzzling moves lately and it’s staying very quiet on the reasons for them.

Apple’s executive leadership team has undergone some drastic changes in the last year, partly as a result of a major reorganization that redivided responsibilities after the ouster of Scott Forstall last fall. But the latest change, which occurred Sunday, is perhaps the most mysterious: Bob Mansfield, former SVP of Hardware Engineering and former member of Steve Jobs’ inner circle, who tried to retire last year and was convinced to stay on as SVP of the vaguely named Technologies division, is no longer leading that division. However, he is staying at the company and will report directly to his same boss, Cook. What, exactly, he’ll be working on, Apple won’t say.

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