Bob Mansfield, now the former Senior Vice President of Technologies at Apple, is stepping down from the executive board to work on "special projects."
According to Bloomberg, Apple spokeswoman Katie Cotton confirmed that Mansfield would be stepping down from the executive team, but "he will continue to work on special projects" for the iPad and iPhone maker.
Mansfield's role as Senior Vice President of Technologies was created specifically for the executive. Pulled out of retirement several months after the company announced the executive's departure, reports suggested that CEO Tim Cook faced an "insurrection" once Mansfield quit the field -- and as a result, lured him back with a generous pay packet which made him one of the most highly paid executives in a 500 company.
Apple has not confirmed whether or not the role will be made available to another applicant.
The change in status for Mansfield is simply the latest in a recent wave of changes -- including the departure of Scott Forstall, Apple senior vice-president for iOS software, who will only stay on as advisor to CEO Tim Cook, and Apple senior vice-president for retail John Browett, who was handed his slip after less than a year in the role.
Mansfield lead Apple's wireless and semiconductor teams after joining the firm in 1999. Once supervisor of teams that developed technology used in products including the MacBook Air and iMac, it is possible that the "special projects" may be related to wearable technology. Apple CEO Tim Cook has called the idea "profoundly interesting," and The New York Times recently wrote that Mansfield is "particularly interested in wearables," according to an Apple employee. The publication says:
"Mansfield is engrossed by devices that connect to the iPhone, through Bluetooth, sharing information back and forth from the human body to the phone, including the Nike FuelBand and Jawbone Up."
Rumors have surfaced that Apple is working on breakthrough products revolving around wearable technology, including a watch-like product -- nicknamed "iWatch" -- that would mimic the features of an iPhone. In addition, the company recently filed for an "iWatch" trademark in Japan.