Apple has announced the promotion of Jeff Williams, formerly Senior VP of Operations, to the position of Chief Operating Officer. Williams has effectively been serving as the de facto head of Operations at Apple since Tim Cook’s appointment as CEO four years ago — Williams was appointed VP of Operations in 2004, and later promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations in 2010, while the Chief Operations Officer (COO) role formerly held by Tim Cook under Steve Jobs remained vacant after Cook became Chief Executive in August 2011, leaving Williams as the senior executive on the Operations side. As a result, Williams’ appointment as Chief Operating Officer is unlikely to have much impact on his day-to-day responsibilities within Apple, although the promotion likely means an increase in compensation and is clearly intended to recognize Williams’ contributions to Apple over almost two decades, with Cook referring to Williams as “hands-down the best operations executive I’ve ever worked with.”
In addition to Williams’ COO appointment, Apple also announced that Johny Srouji is being promoted to from VP to Senior VP of Hardware Technologies, after having joined Apple in 2008 to lead development of the first Apple-designed chip, the A4, and that Phil Schiller’s role as Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing will be expanded to include leadership of the App Store, across all Apple platforms. Tor Myhren, Chief Creative Officer and President of marketing agency Grey New York, will also be joining Apple in the new year as VP of Marketing Communications, reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook, succeeding Hiroki Asai, who will be retiring after an eighteen-year career in marketing communications and graphic design roles at Apple.