Apple Fires Exec Responsible for the iPhone 4 Antenna - Report

Sources in a position to know claim Mark Papermaster was 'sacked'

Mark Papermaster, the Apple executive in charge of hardware for the iPhone, has left the company in the wake of widely reported problems with the phone's antenna, although the reason of his departure is yet unclear. A spokesman for Apple has confirmed that Papermaster is no longer with the company. Apple's senior vice president of Macintosh hardware engineering, Bob Mansfield, is assuming his responsibilities, according to the statement.

Apple announced on November 4, 2008 that Mark Papermaster was joining the company as senior vice president of Devices Hardware Engineering, reporting to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Papermaster had left IBM to lead Apple’s iPod and iPhone hardware engineering teams, a position he had earned thanks to 25 years of product and technology experience. In the same announcement, Apple also revealed that  Tony Fadell, SVP of the iPod Division, and his wife Danielle Lambert, VP of Human Resources, were “reducing their roles within the company as they devote more time to their young family.” Fadell remained at Apple as an advisor to the CEO.

“Mark is a seasoned leader and is going to be an excellent addition to our senior management team,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, at the time of Papermaster's hiring. “Tony and Dani have each made important contributions to Apple over the past eight years. We’re sorry to see Dani go, and are looking forward to working with Tony in his new capacity,” Jobs added.

A report by the New York Times citing Apple spokesman Steve Dowling now confirms Mr. Papermaster’s departure, with Dowling saying Mr. Papermaster “is leaving the company and Bob Mansfield, senior vice president of Macintosh hardware engineering, is assuming his responsibilities.”

It is known that Papermaster oversaw the hardware comprising iPhone 4, although it is unclear whether his departure is related to the iPhone 4 “antennagate” fiasco. Soon after the news was made public, the generally well informed John Gruber wrote in a blog post, “From what I’ve heard, it’s clear he was sacked. Papermaster was a conspicuous absence at the Antennagate press conference. Inside Apple, he’s 'the guy responsible for the antenna'.” Gruber adds “that’s a quote from a source back on July 23.”

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