After a seven-year run, Tony Fadell, the man credited as the force behind Apple's iPod and iPhone development, has stepped aside. He will be replaced by former IBM executive Mark Papermaster. Apple named Papermaster as senior vice president of Devices Hardware Engineering. He will be responsible for overseeing Apple's iPod and iPhone hardware engineering teams and will report directly to CEO Steve Jobs.
Papermaster, a 25 "year IBM veteran, is an expert in chip design and has been credited as one of the key developers behind the Power PC processor. Most recently he served as vice president for the company's blade server development. Papermaster also has been a member of the company's Integration & Values Team since 2006.
On Oct. 22, IBM filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, trying to block Papermaster from joining Apple, saying that "significant and highly confidential IBM trade secrets" could "irreparably harm" the company if he is allowed to work for Apple.
Papermaster resigned Oct. 21, saying he was taking on an unspecified job at Apple. In its suit, IBM said Papermaster would be in breach of a noncompete agreement he signed in 2006 that prevents him for working for competitors for one year if he were to sever ties with IBM.
"In his capacity as a member of the [Integration & Values Team], Mr. Papermaster has gained access to confidential information concerning the company's strategic plans, marketing plans and long-term business opportunities, including the development of specific IBM products," the company said in a statement. "We will vigorously pursue this case in court."
Fadell joined Apple as the first member of its iPod hardware engineering team in 2001 and was promoted to vice president of iPod engineering in 2004. He became senior vice president of the iPod Division in April 2006. Fadell will remain at Apple as an adviser to the CEO.
Prior to joining Apple, Fadell was a co-founder, CTO and director of engineering of the Mobile Computing Group at Philips Electronics.