This past June, Apple announced the surprising and seemingly abrupt retirement of Bob Mansfield , Apple’s senior vp of Hardware Engineering. At the time, Apple’s press release stated that Mansfield’s old role would be given over to Dan Riccio, then Apple’s vp of iPad Hardware Engineering, over the course of a few months.
But then something funny happened.
About two months later Apple announced that Mansfield wouldn’t be going anywhere and that he would remain at Apple where he would work on “future projects” and report directly to Tim Cook.
So what happened? How did Mansfield, who was seemingly ready to ease into a life of retirement, end up back at 1 Infinite Loop, and so quickly at that?
Well, BusinessWeek recently profiled Apple a year after the passing of Steve Jobs and offered up some interesting information in that regard in the process.
As it turns out, folks in Apple’s hardware engineering team weren’t comfortable reporting to Riccio and expressed concern that he wasn’t equipped to handle the full responsibilities of the job. Indeed, the report claims that Cook was facing an “insurrection.”
According to three people familiar with the sequence of events, several senior engineers on Mansfield’s team vociferously complained to Cook about reporting to his replacement, Dan Riccio, who they felt was unprepared for the magnitude of the role. In response, Cook approached Mansfield and offered him an exorbitant package of cash and stock worth around $2 million a month to stay on at Apple as an adviser and help manage the hardware engineering team.
And so just like that, two months into his retirement, Mansfield was back and $2 million/month richer.
Cook, according to Steve Jobs’ biography, isn’t a product guy, and to that end it’s important that Apple do all it can to keep its key executives happy. That said, it’s hardly a surprise that Eddy Cue, shortly after becoming a Senior VP of Software and Services, was awarded a bonus of 100,000 restricted shares of Apple stock, with half set to vest in August 2013 and the other half set to vest in August of 2015.
And this past November, a whole slew of Apple executives received shiny new stock options. All told, Bruce Sewell, Jeff Williams, Phil Schiller, Peter Oppenheimer, Bob Manfield, and Scott Forstall each received 150,000 shares in Apple stock options.