Another of the Apple old guard is taking a step back

If you’ve tuned into any of the Apple keynote events in the last few years, you’ll know Phil Schiller. He’s the silver-haired, silver-tongued, human embodiment of enthusiasm waxing lyrical about the new iPhones, or whatever else Apple is bestowing upon the tech world.

Well, given today’s news it’s unclear whether we’ll see the 30-year Apple veteran take the stage at future Apple launches. Schiller has taken on (or “advancing” to, as Apple puts it) the role of Apple Fellow, meaning he’ll no longer be in the position of Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing.

Judging by the tone of Schiller’s statement, it represents somewhat of a step back from his executive duties at the world’s biggest company.

“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, Tim, and so many more,” said Schiller in a post on Apple’s Newsroom site.

“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. I’ll keep working here as long as they will have me, I bleed six colours, 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.”

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Schiller will continue to lead the App Store and Apple Events, the company says, but will be replaced in the top marketing position by the new SVP of Worldwide Marketing Greg (Joz) Joswiak, who joins Apple’s executive team.

If Schiller is to take less of an active role, it’s another major shakeup at the top of the organisation, which has also seen design lead Sir Jonathan Ive also leave the company recently. It was arguably the trio of Schiller, Ive and the late Steve Jobs who reversed the fortunes of Apple in the late 1990s, with iconic products like the iPod and the iMac G3.

“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 Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

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