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How Craig Federighi & Dan Riccio were selected to leadership roles at Apple

Tim Cook is to Jeff Williams what Bob Mansfield is to Dan Riccio

In contrast to the five month gap between Serlet's departure and Federighi's promotion, Apple promoted Tim Cook's protégé Jeff Williams to his senior vice president of operations position in July 2010, just weeks prior to Jobs' announcement that Cook would replace him as the company's chief executive, leaving no empty operations chair on Apple's executive team.

On the hardware side, after announcing the retirement of Bob Mansfield two months ago as Apple's senior vice president of hardware engineering, Cook named as his replacement Dan Riccio, then acting as vice president of iPad hardware engineering.

Cook said, "Dan [Riccio] has been one of Bob’s key lieutenants for a very long time and is very well respected within Apple and by the industry. Our hardware engineering team is the best engineering team on earth and will not miss a beat during the transition."

In reality, Apple's hardware engineering team has missed a few beats over the last few years, suffering a number of embarrassments and executive departures even while delivering a string of successful new products to fill out the world's most profitable portfolio of new consumer tech products.

Who is Dan Riccio?

Not a lot is known about Riccio, who joined Apple in 1998, one year before Mansfield. Under Jobs, Apple remained as tight lipped as possible about the identity of vice presidents and their responsibilities, fearful that the company might have its most talented people recruited by other firms.

Jobs was familiar with this threat because he had personally recruited many of his top executives from other companies, including his own right-hand-man Cook, who this summer revealed that Jobs had bedazzled him away from Compaq (now part of HP) within five minutes of meeting him.

Like Cook, Riccio was also recruited from Compaq in 1998, possibly as a related defection. Riccio moved from his position at the PC maker managing mechanical engineering to a new role at Apple in product design, a job he held for the next 12 years.

Riccio has worked closely with Mansfield, who joined Apple in 1999 when the company acquired Raycer Graphics, where Mansfield had served as the president of engineering.

On page 4 of 4: Apple's hardware executive churn