February 23, 2024

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Tang Tan, Apple’s head of iPhone and Watch product design, will leave in February

Tang Tan, Apple’s head of iPhone and Watch product design, will leave in February

The executive responsible for product design for the iPhone and other Apple devices is leaving the company.

Apple Inc. CEO steps down. Responsible for designing iPhone and smartwatch products, disrupting the company’s most important product lines.

Tang Tan, who serves as vice president of product design, will leave in February, according to people familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity because the move is not public. Tan reports to John Ternos, senior vice president of hardware engineering, and the department is adjusting tasks to handle the transition.

Several Ternus and Tan deputies are getting expanded roles as part of the changes. Among them is Richard Dinh, Tan’s senior lieutenant and head of iPhone product design. His debt was raised to report directly to Ternus. Apple Watch is designed by Kate Bergeron, executive director of hardware engineering responsible for the Mac hardware teams.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment on the changes.

The iPhone and Apple Watch are key components of Apple’s operations, accounting for more than half of the tech giant’s $383.3 billion in revenue last year. Tan was also responsible for accessory design and oversaw the company’s audio team, which handles much of the AirPods’ development. These two groups will be moved under the leadership of Matthew Costello, who is responsible for Beats and the HomePod smart speaker.

People familiar with Apple’s operations say Tan’s departure is a blow, and that he has made critical decisions about Apple’s most important products. Beyond the iPhone, his work on the Watch and AirPods has helped turn those devices into major growth engines for the Cupertino, California-based company.

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Under Apple’s organizational structure, the product design team works closely with its industrial design and operations groups. Tan’s team has tight control over product features, including how the devices look and how they are designed.

John Ternos has reorganized the Hardware Engineering group, which he has overseen since 2021.

John Ternos has reorganized the Hardware Engineering group, which he has overseen since 2021.

Tan is the second senior executive to announce departure plans recently. Bloomberg News reported earlier this week that Steve Hotelling — the vice president in charge of hardware technologies like Touch ID, Face ID and displays — is retiring. Hotelling reports to Johnny Srouji, senior vice president of hardware technologies.

It is also at least the third exit in a year from the Ternus organization. Yannick Bertolos, who was responsible for Hardware Product Quality and later managed Hardware Product Management, has recently retired. His predecessor in the last position, Laura Legros, left at the end of last year.

Ternos, who took over hardware engineering in 2021, has changed other parts of the organization recently. He has promoted Dan West — previously the No. 2 executive for hardware quality — to a new, non-product role reporting to him. Other executives responsible for designing Mac products and iPhone hardware systems were also promoted, suggesting that Apple may be preparing for more leadership changes in the coming year.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)