With Jony Ive’s Successor, Apple Bets a Pragmatist Can Turn Prophet


  In two decades at Apple Inc, Jeff Williams has gone from heading procurement to leading all of the tech giant’s operations.


  Now he has a new responsibility: creating the iconic gadgets that make Apple hum. That will be a critical test for both him and the company, which is in need of a new hit.


  Apple’s chief operating officer since 2015, Mr Williams has long been seen as a possible future CEO. Last week’s announcement that he will take over management of software and hardware design when chief design officer Jony Ive leaves this year—the company’s biggest executive change in years—fueled anticipation that Mr Williams is the heir apparent to Tim Cook.


  Meanwhile, Mr Williams’s ability to identify the right projects and reject the wrong ones, and to push software and industrial designers forward, will go a long way to determining Apple’s success.


  Design has been central to Apple’s formula since Steve Jobs, with help from Mr Ive, revived the company in the 1990s. Putting Mr Williams in charge marks a departure for Apple: Never before has core product creation been directly managed by someone who ascended through the operating ranks—a staid domain of planning, procurement and logistics.


  Apple didn’t make Mr Williams available for this article, but people who have worked with him say he has been more visible in the product-development process than Mr Cook.


  Mr Williams has shown interest in products’ look and feel, they said, and helped steer the Apple Watch from being a fashion- and fitness-focused product tethered to the iPhone to one that boasts wireless connectivity and more health features, one of his priorities.

  他们表示,威廉姆斯对产品的外观和感觉表现出了兴趣,并帮助Apple Watch从一个附属于iPhone的以健身功能为主的时尚配件,转变为一款支持无线联网和更多健康功能的产品,这是他的功绩之一。

  Still, Mr Williams is an operations executive at his core, the people said, and his skills at logistics and planning make him more implementer than inventor.


  “He sees where we are, not where we need to be in years to come,” said a former colleague, who also praised Mr Williams’s leadership, versatility and encyclopedic memory.




  pragmatist  n. 实用主义者;爱管闲事的人

  procurement  n. 采购;获得,取得

  anticipation  n. 预料,预期;预感;预支;盼望,希望;先发制人

  logistic  adj. 后勤的;安排协调方面的;组织上的 n. 数理逻辑;符号逻辑

  tether  n. 系链;拴绳 v. (用绳或链)拴住

  versatility  n. 多功能性;多才多艺;用途广泛

  encyclopedic  adj. 渊博的;知识广博的