Apple is confirming the departure of iPhone-iPod chief Mark Papermaster, who was recruited from IBM less than two years ago.
Papermaster's abruptly vacated position is expected to be filled by Bob Mansfield, the company's senior VP of computer engineering.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Mansfield "already manages" certain aspects of Apple's mobile device technologies, including the touch screen and A4 processing chip.
As expected, Papermaster's unceremonious exit sparked rampant speculation that the engineer had been removed due to his alleged role in Apple's embarrassing "Antennagate."
However, PC World's Tony Bradley opined that Papermaster likely chose to "move on" for his own reasons.
"In order to have a sacrificial lamb take the fall for a corporate debacle there must first be a mea culpa where the corporation admits that there is a debacle."
"[But] Apple has stubbornly and indignantly maintained that there is nothing wrong with the iPhone 4. The company told users they are holding the phone wrong. [Really], Apple's position on 'antennagate' is too entrenched for it to backpedal and take responsibility now."