The executive at Apple Inc. who was in charge of designing the iPhone and wristwatch products is leaving.
Vice president of product design Tang Tan is leaving in February, according to sources with knowledge of the situation who wished to remain anonymous because the move isn’t being made public. Tan is accountable to Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering John Ternus, and in order to manage the changeover, the division is reassigning responsibilities.
As part of the adjustments, several of Ternus’ and Tan’s subordinates will have more responsibilities. Richard Dinh, Tan’s closest aide and head of iPhone product design, is among them. Leading Mac teams as a hardware engineering executive, Kate Bergeron will be handling the Apple Watch design.
An inquiry on the adjustments was not answered by Apple.
Apple’s activities revolve around the iPhone and Apple Watch, which generated more than half of the company’s $383.3 billion in revenue in the previous year. Tan was also in charge of the company’s acoustics team, which manages a large portion of the development of the AirPods, and accessory design. Under Matthew Costello, who oversees Beats and the HomePod smart speaker, those two organizations are moving.
According to those with knowledge of Apple’s operations, Tan’s departure is disappointing because he made crucial choices on some of the company’s most significant products. His work on the Watch and AirPods, in addition to the iPhone, enabled the Cupertino, California-based corporation leverage those products as significant growth engines.
The product design team collaborates closely with the industrial design and operations units inside Apple’s organizational structure. Tan’s team maintains strict supervision over every aspect of the products, including the engineering and design of the gadgets.
Tan is the second senior executive who has recently disclosed plans to leave. Steve Hotelling, a vice president in charge of hardware innovations like Touch ID, Face ID, and displays, is retiring, according to a report from Bloomberg News earlier this week. Johny Srouji, senior vice president of hardware technologies, was Hotelling’s supervisor.
It’s also Ternus’s organization’s third exit in as many months. Yannick Bertolus, who oversaw hardware product management before taking over as quality control officer for hardware products, recently retired. Laura Legros, his predecessor in the latter position, departed at the conclusion of the previous year.
Ternus, who assumed leadership of hardware engineering in 2021, has reorganized many departments inside the company. Dan West, who was previously the No. 2 executive for hardware quality, was promoted to a new non-product position under his direction. The promotion of other executives in charge of iPhone hardware systems and Mac product design raises the possibility that Apple is getting ready to make further leadership changes in the upcoming year.