Tuesday, January 8, 2019

iCloud Leader Leaves Apple

Kevin McLaughlin (MacRumors):

Patrick Gates, an Apple senior director of engineering who led development of iCloud, FaceTime, and iMessage during nearly 14 years at the company, has left to join a stealth startup founded by two other former Apple employees. The startup, called Humane, announced Mr. Gates had joined as chief technology officer on Dec. 19.

Mr. Gates, who worked in an organization led by Internet services chief Eddy Cue, oversaw a project in 2015 that aimed to unify Apple products like iCloud and iTunes in a single cloud platform. But the effort was delayed by friction with another Apple group led by former engineering executive Eric Billingsley, who left the company last October.

Humane, co-founded by former Apple directors Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, is working on products that focus on “the next shift between humans and computing,” according to a note on its website.

Amir Efrati and Steve Nellis (in 2016):

Political infighting within Apple’s engineering ranks is holding back the company’s efforts to fix technical problems that have plagued iCloud and iTunes, say people with direct knowledge of the situation.

Two engineering teams working on new internal cloud-computing infrastructure to power Apple’s Web services are in open conflict, the people say. Already, the infighting has sparked at least one key employee departure, with more expected soon.

Via Dan Masters:

Noteworthy that repeated reports of dysfunction and infighting (culminating in both Apple cloud managers leaving within months of each other) aligned with personal experience of other employees as well[…]

Katharine Schwab:

Chaudhri left Apple in 2017, after spending almost two decades designing interfaces for the iPod, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV as well as the iPhone, to pursue a still-under-wraps company of his own. I recently sat down with him to talk about his time at Apple, and had the chance to ask him how he views his legacy now that the downsides of smartphones have come into focus. He cited the challenges of working as a designer at a giant corporation, where his personal ethics didn’t always align with decision-making[…]

Previously: Inside the World of Eddy Cue, Apple’s Services Chief.

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