Tripp Mickle, The Wall Street Journal:
Apple Inc. is shaking up leadership and reordering priorities across its services, artificial intelligence, hardware and retail divisions as it works to reduce the company’s reliance on iPhone sales.
The changes, which can be traced back to last year, have included high-profile hires, noteworthy departures, meaningful promotions and consequential restructurings. They have rattled rank-and-file employees unaccustomed to frequent leadership changes and led Apple to put several projects on hold while new managers are given a chance to reassess priorities, according to people familiar with the matter.
Leadership moves of the past few months include promoting artificial intelligence chief John Giannandrea to the executive team; replacing departing retail chief Angela Ahrendts with head of human resources Deirdre O’Brien; and pushing out top Siri voice-assistant executive Bill Stasior.
Apple has also trimmed 200 staffers from its autonomous-vehicle project, and is redirecting much of the engineering resources in its services business, led by Eddy Cue, into efforts around Hollywood programming.
The changes, along with Apple’s recent sales woes, have become conversation fodder for current and ex-Apple employees, partly because they are among the most pronounced since Tim Cook’s early years as chief executive. Retail chief Ron Johnson left shortly before Mr. Cook took over in 2011, and mobile software executive Scott Forstall was dismissed a year later. Their departures led to the hiring of Ms. Ahrendts, the elevation of Craig Federighi to the top software job and Mr. Cue’s assumption of responsibility for several services, creating an 11-person executive team that remained largely unchanged for five years.