Key architect of Apple's Vision Pro hints at next career step

Joanna Gao, Taipei; Jack Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Photo: Apple VP of Engineering Dan Riccio. Credit: Apple.

Apple's VP of Engineering, Dan Riccio, told colleagues he is "nearing retirement." Riccio has worked for Apple for over 25 years and is a key architect who put the Vision Pro on the market.

According to a Bloomberg report, Riccio was Apple's senior VP of Hardware Engineering from 2012 to 2021 before shifting to VP of Engineering in 2021. In Apple's statement regarding this move, the company stated that Riccio "will transition to a new role focusing on a new project." This new project likely referred to getting the Vision Pro to the market.

John Ternus took over Riccio's position as SVP of Hardware Engineering. Both Ternus and Riccio report directly to CEO Tim Cook.

During his time as SVP of Hardware Engineering, Riccio played a role in many classic products, including the first iMac, iPad mini, iPhone X, the 5G iPhone series, and Mac. He also acquired the key technologies that led to Apple products adopting Touch ID and Face ID.

Within Apple, Riccio is known as a "hard-driving and controversial boss." Additionally, not all products he was involved in saw success. Notable failures include smart speakers, the TV project, and the recently canceled Apple Car.

There also was a period in which Apple intended to shift its focus to the iPad over the Mac, which didn't work out. However, the 2020 shift from Intel chips to Apple's homegrown M series chips for its MacBook product, an effort Riccio helped lead, pushed the Mac to a new peak.

The Vision Pro's successful launch into the market signals that Riccio has completed his current tasks. However, with the Vision Pro product line still in the starting stage, the attention now turns to what Apple will do if Riccio does eventually retire.