Remember Microsoft Bob? If you don’t, don’t worry – it was a stunning failure in UI design, failing in every single way possible compared to the stunning success of the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad user interfaces.
Now, it’s a bit unfair to compare the UI of Microsoft Bob to the hardware genius of Apple’s Bob Mansfield, but if Bob’s your uncle, you’d surely want him to be Mr Mansfield and not the one related to Mr Ballmer.
Thankfully for all those wondering what will become of any future iPad Mini at 7-inches, or the 2013 iPad, the iPhone 5 or the next iPod Touch, it’s good to know that Bob Mansfield isn’t leaving right away.
No, his transition will happen “over several months”, with what you’d imagine is a coveted role going to Dan Riccio, who was the veep to Bob Mansfield’s senior veep status.
Indeed, until Mr Mansfield actually does depart, Apple says “the entire hardware engineering team” will continue reporting to Bob Mansfield, ensuring that the iDivision remains in good hands – and hopefully to equally as good hands once Mr Riccio officially takes over, although Apple would never have announced Dan Riccio would take the role if the company wasn’t certain his hands hadn’t learned a great deal under Mr Mansfield’s excellent tutelage.
My only real experience of Bob Mansfield, besides actually using the products his hardware engineering skills have been responsible for, is seeing him in those super smooth Apple videos.
Apple CEO Tim Cook had very nice things to say about Bob, saying Apple was “very sad to have him leave” – one can only wonder whether Scott Forstall’s CEO sendoff, if/when it ever happens, will be as gracious.
It’s also good to see Mr Cook praising Bob’s replacement-to-be, Dan Riccio, as being “very well respected within Apple and by the industry”, as one of Bob’s “key lieutenants”, while promising the hardware engineering division “will not miss a beat during the transition”.
So, Dan Riccio, here’s to a smooth transition, and Bob Mansfield, we certainly hope you have a very productive retirement. Indeed, we hope that retirement will be too boring for you, and that you’ll bob up somewhere amazing after you’ve had a well deserved rest, sometime soon!
Read more about Bob Mansfield's impending retirement here.