Apple VP Behind 5G Initiative Exits: Report

Apple has reportedly lost one of its key 5G executives and also poached a 5G executive from Intel.


Rubén Caballero

Apple is reportedly seeing a shake-up in its executive ranks around the efforts to develop a 5G-capable iPhone.

Rubén Caballero, a vice president and 14-year veteran of Apple, is no longer with the company, The Information reported on Monday.

[Related: Apple May Still Want Intel's Mobile Modem Business]

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A Reuters report in February stated that Apple had taken modem engineering from Caballero's oversight and moved it under the direction of Johny Srouji, Apple's senior vice president of hardware technologies.

The report from The Information says the date of Caballero's departure couldn't be determined.

Meanwhile, Intel's senior director on 5G, Umashankar Thyagarajan, had joined Apple as of February, The Telegraph reported on Sunday. Thyagarajan's LinkedIn profile lists him as working in "architecture" at Apple.

Until the surprise legal settlement between Apple and Qualcomm earlier this month, the launch of a 5G-supporting iPhone in 2020 had been in question.

According to reports, Intel had been the only 5G modem supplier for the 2020 iPhones but had missed upcoming deadlines this summer for delivering sample parts of its 5G modem.

As part of the Apple-Qualcomm deal to drop all litigation, the two companies entered a six-year patent license agreement, as well as a multiyear chipset supply agreement. The deal paves the way for Apple to launch a 5G-capable iPhone in 2020, as Qualcomm is a leading provider of chipsets for high-speed 5G service.

Caballero had been spearheading Apple's 5G efforts until his departure, though the reason for the exit remains uncertain, according to The Information.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

For its part, Intel has announced it is pulling out of the 5G modem business following the Apple-Qualcomm deal. Intel's leaders are "assessing our options to realize the value we have created" in 5G modems, Intel CEO Bob Swan said in a previous statement.