Apple’s Phil Schiller Steps Down As SVP OF Worldwide Marketing, Takes New Position As ‘Apple Fellow’

NEWS: 08.05.20 – Former Apple senior Vice President of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, is stepping down from his long time role at the company in order to focus on spending more time with family and friends.

The announcement — which has Schiller advancing to the new position of “Apple Fellow” — was made by the Cupertino, California-based company via a press release published Tuesday on its website. Apple also announced that Greg Joswiak, who for the past 20 years has been a leader within the Product Marketing organization, will be joining the executive team to fill in the now vacated role previously held by his predecessor.

In this January 2009 photograph taken at the 2009 Macworld Conference & Expo, Apple senior Vice President of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, is seen onstage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California as he ends his keynote address with an update on iTunes. (Photo: James Martin / CNET)

According to the press release, in his new role as an Apple Fellow — a position which reports directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook — Schiller will continue to lead the App Store as well as the company’s Events.

“Phil has helped make Apple the company it is today and his contributions are broad, vast, and run deep. In this new role, he will continue to provide the incredible thought, partnership, and guidance that have defined his decades at Apple,” said Cook.

As of late Tuesday, Schiller’s profile page in the Apple Leadership section of the company’s website — which may possibly be replaced with that of Joswiak’s own by the time this article is published — had not yet been updated to reflect the change in roles. Viewed as an advancement within the company, it is unclear at this time whether Schiller in this new position will retain his duties as a member of Apple’s leadership team or if it will be strictly in an advisory role.

Described by Apple as having had a storied career that began at the company in 1987, Schiller has helped guide Apple’s products and its marketing for more than 30 years. As Apple senior Vice President of worldwide marketing, he was responsible for the company’s product marketing and management, developer relations, market research, business management, including education, enterprise, and international marketing.

According to the biographical information provided in his profile page on the company’s website,Schiller — who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Boston College in 1982 — has over 25 years of marketing and management experience including 20 years at Apple in various marketing management positions. He previously has served as Vice President of product marketing at Macromedia, Inc., director of product marketing at FirePower Systems, Inc., information technology (IT) manager at Nolan, Norton & Company, and programmer and systems analyst at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Since returning to Apple in 1997 after a hiatus, Schiller has helped the company with the following accomplishments:

  • created the best computers in the world with the Mac
  • led the digital music revolution with the iPod and iTunes
  • reinvented mobile phones with the iPhone and the App Store
  • defined the future of mobile computing with the iPad

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At the Macworld Conference & Expo in 2009, Schiller — filling in that year for then Apple CEO Steve Jobs (who presumably had taken a leave of absence for health reasons due to a personal battle with pancreatic cancer) — single-handedly presided over the show and took to the stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California to give the keynote address in what would be Apple’s final appearance at the annual event (which has been discontinued since then).

In a recap of the event, CNET described That year’s Macworld which it dubbed “the Philnote” as not the most exciting keynote address that the company had ever presented but commended Schiller for conducting himself well and for putting on a great performance in the starring role, one that it said was normally that of sidekick to Jobs at those types of events (for instance, in 2007, when the iPhone was unveiled, he was the first person that the then Apple CEO called on the phone during the live demo of the device). It also added that the then Apple senior Vice President of worldwide marketing was no Steve Jobs, however, gave credit to him for being successful at engaging the audience and ensuring that the show would go on with him in Jobs’s place.

VIDEO: watch Apple senior Vice President of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, give the “Macworld San Francisco 2009 Keynote Address.”

Most recently, back in June, as Apple senior Vice President of worldwide marketing, Schiller led the effort to plan and execute a first ever virtual version of the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 20) which was held entirely online via the web this year due to the global pandemic surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19.

“It has been a dream come true for me to work at Apple, on so many products I love, with all of these great friends: Steve (Jobs), Tim, and so many more,” said Schiller.

Business Insider reported that the shift in Schiller’s role marks the third leadership shakeup at Apple since early 2019. Former Apple senior Vice President of retail, Angela Ahrendts, left the company that April, while former Apple chief design officer, Jony Ive, announced his departure that June.

In all three instances, rather than searching for a new hire from outside the walls of its Cupertino headquarters, Apple to-date, in order to fill in vacancies, has promoted existing employees from inside the company, the latest example of this trend the promotion of Joswiak who will be ascending into the position formerly held by Schiller.

Also known as “Joz,” Joswiak — who succeeds Schiller and previously served for the past four years directly below him as Apple Vice President of worldwide marketing — brings with him more than two decades of leadership roles across Apple product marketing. During his tenure with the company, Joz has overseen the marketing and management of numerous breakthrough products including the iPod and iPhone.

“Joz’s many years of leadership in the Product Marketing organization make him perfectly suited to this new role and will ensure a seamless transition at a moment when the team is engaged in such important and exciting work,” said Cook.

According to Business Insider, not much is known about Apple’s fellow program but it appears to honor those who have made extraordinary contributions to the field of computers. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak lists himself as an Apple Fellow, as does early Apple employee and investor Guy Kawasaki.

“I first started at Apple when I was 27, this year I turned 60 and it is time for some planned changes in my life,” said Schiller.

“I’ll keep working here as long as they will have me, but I also want to make some time in the years ahead for my family, friends, and a few personal projects I care deeply about.”


A Note from the Author: the image featured herein was procured from and courtesy of CNET via the same article cited within as source material for this story.

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