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Apple teases ‘new and wonderful’ product as top execs take on new posts

Changes are afoot at Apple as several of its engineering executives receive new posts ahead of work on a “new and wonderful” project.

Dan Riccio, who has spent almost two dozen years at the company — nine of them as Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering — will move to a role focusing on a new project and report to CEO Tim Cook, the tech giant announced on Monday, January 25.

“Working at Apple has been the opportunity of a lifetime,” Riccio said in a release, adding that “after 23 years of leading our product and design or hardware engineering teams … it’s the right time for a change. Next up, I’m looking forward to doing what I love most — focusing all my time and energy at Apple on creating something new and wonderful that I couldn’t be more excited about.”

Of course, Apple’s release offers no details about the “new and wonderful” product, though customers will of course ultimately decide if it ends up being as described. Recent speculation suggests Apple may be kicking things up a gear on its plans for an electric car featuring autonomous capabilities, with Hyundai recently letting slip that the two companies have been in talks about such a project. Apple is also thought to be working on a virtual reality headset and augmented reality glasses that could launch next year. Beyond those two products, who knows what Riccio could be talking about. An electric back scratcher? Metal-detecting shoes? Umbrella hat? Only time will tell, so sit tight.

Cook, for one, certainly has confidence in his latest appointee, describing Riccio as a man of “deep expertise and wide breadth of experience [that] make him a bold and visionary leader of our hardware engineering teams.”

Riccio’s vacated post will be filled by John Ternus, who joined Apple’s product design team in 2001 and has been a vice president of the company’s hardware engineering unit since 2013.

During his time at Apple, Ternus has overseen hardware engineering work on a range of products, including the iPhone 12, every iPad, and the first-generation AirPods. He’s also played a key role in the rollout of Apple’s new M1-powered Macs.

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