Apple’s Key Design Exec for iPhone and Apple Watch Exits in Shake-Up

It appears Apple’s design team is going through some changes. Tang Tan, the Vice President of Product Design for the iPhone and Apple Watch, is set to leave the company in February, reports Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, citing unnamed sources. This departure marks a notable change in leadership for Apple’s most critical product lines.

Tan, who reports to John Ternus, Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering, has played a pivotal role in shaping the design of Apple’s flagship products. His departure is seen as a significant loss for the company, with sources acknowledging his crucial contributions to the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods, which have become major growth drivers for Apple.

In response to Tan’s exit, Apple is reportedly reshuffling duties within the division. Richard Dinh, Tan’s top lieutenant and head of iPhone product design, is being elevated to report directly to Ternus. Kate Bergeron, a hardware engineering executive responsible for Mac teams, will take over the design of the Apple Watch.

Additionally, the design of accessories and the acoustics team, which has been instrumental in the development of the AirPods, will be relocated under Matthew Costello, who oversees Beats and the HomePod.

The departure of Tan follows the recent announcement of Steve Hotelling, a vice president in charge of hardware technologies, retiring. Hotelling was responsible for key technologies like Touch ID, Face ID, and displays. This series of exits, including the retirement of Yannick Bertolus and the departure of Laura Legros last year, signals a period of transition within Ternus’ organization.

Ternus, who assumed leadership of hardware engineering in 2021, has already initiated other organizational changes. He promoted Dan West to a new non-product role and elevated executives in charge of Mac product design and iPhone hardware systems. These moves suggest that Apple could be preparing for more leadership changes in the coming year.

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