Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Phil Schiller Steps Down From SVP

Apple (MacRumors, Hacker News):

Apple today announced that Phil Schiller will become an Apple Fellow, continuing a storied career that began at Apple in 1987. In this role, which reports to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Schiller will continue to lead the App Store and Apple Events. Greg (Joz) Joswiak, a longtime leader within the Product Marketing organization, will join the executive team as senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.


“I first started at Apple when I was 27, this year I turned 60 and it is time for some planned changes in my life. I’ll keep working here as long as they will have me, I bleed six colors, but I also want to make some time in the years ahead for my family, friends, and a few personal projects I care deeply about.”

Running the App Store is a big enough job by itself. It didn’t make sense to keep it under Services, and combining it with Marketing only made sense to the extent that Apple wanted Schiller in charge of it. It will be interesting to see how long he continues in that role and who will be next.

Jacob Kastrenakes:

Marketing is a huge role inside of Apple that goes beyond simply advertising products, so this marks a significant change within the company.

John Gruber:

Best way I can put it is that Schiller is the most Apple-y of all Apple executives.

Chris Espinosa:

Congratulations, @pschiller, on being promoted to Apple Fellow, joining Steve Wozniak, Rod Holt, Al Alcorn, Bill Atkinson, Steve Capps, Rich Page, Gurshuran Sidhu, Gary Starkweather, Alan Kay, Don Norman, and Guy Kawasaki.

Nick Heer:

Please enjoy this classic video of Schiller dropping in at Macworld 1999.


Update (2020-08-05): Brendan Shanks:

I’ll bet that this is the oldest @pschiller video you’ll find on the internet: the WWDC 1997 Hardware Roadmap. (Phil was VP of Desktop and Server Product Marketing)

Update (2020-08-11): Adam Engst:

The main thing I remember was asking [Schiller] if Apple was considering adding Bluetooth support to the iPod to enable wireless earbuds because I felt the wires were awkward and fussy.


At the time, Apple was running the Silhouettes ads that featured black silhouettes of people dancing to music piped from their iPods through Apple’s iconic white earbuds, and Schiller had pointed out that the wires were an integral part of the look.

Update (2020-08-17): Ken Segall:

Today only Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams remain. The original Big Guns of hardware, software, retail, marketing, finance and legal have all checked out.


Fortunately, despite his title, Phil was was never involved in ad development. He was present only when we showed finished work to Steve.

Absolutely, he had good thinking to share in our meetings. Steve trusted him for a reason. But he also contributed some highly questionable ideas, like “MacMan.” (Phil’s big naming idea for the computer that became iMac.)


Shortly after Phil took over the marketing reins, the 2012 Summer Olympics presented a big ad opportunity.

The result was the Apple Genius campaign.

Update (2020-08-24): See also: Upgrade (tweet).

Update (2020-10-09): Dave:

Apple just updated their Leadership page to include Joz.

They even list his nickname.

It’s interesting how Phil is still on the page in his role as ‘Apple Fellow’, and it specifically says he’s still in charge of the App Store & Apple Events.

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

I’m not so sure that “the most Apple-y of all Apple executives” is a compliment these days.

Apple University used to emphasize that Apple's culture and direction wasn't just a product of SJ, but was shaped by the troika of SJ, Jony, & Phil. When SJ knew he faced death, he realized the need to perpetuate the values and motivations they embodied, and Apple U was born.

Sadly it was a complete failure. Take away the bean-counting, social engineering, and abusing the plaform to turn the screws on developers and customers alike, and you'd be hard-pressed to describe what exactly Apple uniquely stands for today.

With Jony & Phil gone, the transition is officially over. The monstrosty today began under the troika, but now there's not one person left wth the spine to call bullshit. Craig could have been a real leader, but he's far too conciliatory. It is heartbreaking that Apple has finally become the parody version of itself that haters have trumpted for decades.

>I bleed six colors

How many of Apple's current customers even know what this refers to?

Is he going to be the fuse for the anti-trust case?

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