Having worked for Apple since 1987 — several years into the Macintosh era and nearly a decade before Steve Jobs returned to the company to reverse its then-troubled fortunes — Phil Schiller subsequently became one of the company’s most prominent executives, leading Apple’s global marketing efforts as a senior vice president and ultimately becoming head of the multi-billion-dollar App Store. Today, Apple announced that longtime marketing VP Greg Joswiak will replace Schiller in the marketing role and Schiller will become an Apple Fellow, leading the company’s events and App Store for “as long as they will have me.”
It’s hard to overstate Schiller’s importance to Apple during the eras of CEOs Jobs and Tim Cook, both behind the scenes and in front of cameras. When Jobs sought a name for the then-unreleased all-in-one Macintosh that was eventually named “iMac,” he presented Schiller’s Sony-inspired alternative — “MacMan” — to challenge advisers to do better, with their marketing collaboration ultimately leading to Apple’s successful series of “i”-prefix products. Schiller then became one of relatively few Apple executives to personally present new products at media events, and was frequently quoted as a key internal source in its press releases as new computers and devices transitioned from rumors to reality.
As contrasted with the operational wizard Cook, Schiller evoked a Jobs-like sense of California cool, and is credited by Apple with guiding both products and marketing for the past 30 years. He was notably responsible for marketing Apple’s abandonment of iPhone headphone ports as “courage to move on,” among other slick explanations of controversial Apple decisions, which sometimes threaded the needle to the consternation of critics.
In 2015, he took over responsibility for the App Store from iCloud chief Eddy Cue in an apparent effort to address developer concerns over the iPhone and iPad’s exclusive software store. While the App Store has continued to face serious criticisms from developers, including antitrust concerns, Schiller’s team has been more responsive and communicative with developers regarding some issues, while continuing to let others percolate for overly extended periods of time. At least for the time being, he’ll continue to preside over the App Store, but is also making time for “family, friends, and a few personal projects I care deeply about.”
Notably, Schiller also took over the responsibilities of communications VP Steve Dowling, who left the company last year. The company has not yet identified Dowling’s replacement, but has been considering candidates for that position since last fall.
Prior to replacing Schiller in the senior VP role, Greg Joswiak served as a marketing lead for various Apple product lines, having joined the company in June 1986 — shortly before Schiller. Known inside Apple as “Joz,” Joswiak became the head of iPod marketing during the digital media player’s heyday, as well as leading iPhone and iPad marketing as the smartphone and tablet subsumed the iPod business. Joswiak has presented at Apple media events and appeared in videos, albeit fewer than Schiller did, and has notably continued to be quoted in press releases as the top internal source on iPods despite their continued decline.
Apart from the more senior title, which includes leading Apple’s product management and product marketing, developer relations, market research, and business management, Joswiak’s promotion includes his elevation to Apple’s select executive team. No specific dates were provided for the changes, and as of press time, Apple’s Leadership page has not yet been updated to reflect either person’s new role.