Rumors are swirling around the unexpected departure of Mark Papermaster, Apple’s Senior VP of Devices Hardware Engineering.
An IBM stalwart before moving to Apple, Papermaster worked in the company from 1998-2008 where he served as Vice President of the blade server division. His controversial exit from IBM became the subject of a court case which was ruled on the scope and validity of the ‘non-compete’ clause in his employment contract with IBM.
Papermaster is believed to have lost the confidence of Steve Jobs himself. Insider sources claim his departure was due to a “broader cultural incompatibility” due to a marked difference in Apple’s hands-on management approach versus delegation. However, tech writer John Gruber who claims to have heard it from insider sources at Apple, hints strongly that indeed, the iPhone 4 may have been the reason Papermaster was fired. Whether or not the iPhone 4’s antenna fiasco is the proximate cause for his departure has yet to be confirmed.
In the wake of Papermaster’s departure, Senior Vice President for Mac Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield now juggles two responsibilities – Mac and Apple devices hardware engineer. He is now the senior vice president of Mac and Devices Hardware Engineering at Apple.