Cupertino (CA) – An employment dispute between Apple and IBM has been resolved. Apple announced today that Mark Papermaster will join Apple on April 24 to lead the firm’s iPod and iPhone hardware engineering teams. He replaces Tony Fadell, who recently retired.
Mark Papermaster will carry the title of senior vice president of Devices Hardware Engineering, effectively replacing and extending the role of Tony Fadell, who recently retired from his position as senior vice president, but remains with the company as an “advisor to the CEO”. Fadell was largely credited with the invention of the original iPod more than seven years ago and the creation of Apple’s audio content strategy.
Bringing Papermaster to Apple was much easier said than done. IBM, Papermaster’s former employer, was complaining about a violation of a non-compete agreement the executive had apparently signed. It was speculated that IBM especially focused on Apple’s apparent intentions to develop its own microprocessors and chipsets based on the Power architecture – a segment in which Papermaster acquired extensive experience at IBM.
Apple did not provide any information about the litigation between IBM and Papermaster, but noted that the dispute “has been resolved”. Papermaster was one of IBM’s top 300 executives. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas as well a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont in 1988.
The hiring of Papermaster is almost certain to ring in a new era for the iPod/iPhone family with a much greater focus on core hardware functionality. It will be interesting to see what will evolve from Apple’s acquisition of P.A. Semi and the newly added knowledge of Papermaster.