When this occurred in late August, Apple didn't provide an explanation. A new story claims some of the company's top employees did not believe Mansfield's replacement was ready for the job, something that led to infighting within the company's top ranks.
In a piece looking back at Apple's past year without former CEO Steve Jobs, who died one year ago on Friday, Bloomberg Businessweek throws in a tidbit about the situation, saying that some of Apple's senior engineers went straight to current CEO Tim Cook when they learned Dan Riccio would replace Mansfield as the company's hardware chief:
According to three people familiar with the sequence of events, several senior engineers on Mansfield's team vociferously complained to Cook about reporting to his replacement, Dan Riccio, who they felt was unprepared for the magnitude of the role. In response, Cook approached Mansfield and offered him an exorbitant package of cash and stock worth around $2 million a month to stay on at Apple as an adviser and help manage the hardware engineering team.
The outlet referred to the incident as a possible "insurrection."
Apple announced Mansfield's retirement in June, saying that the transition to Riccio would take place over "several" months. Mansfield had been with Apple since 1999, though took on the chief hardware role in 2010. His departure was going to be the first from Apple's executive team since Cook took over as CEO last August.