SEC documents show that Mansfield owned nearly 50,000 shares of Apple as of June 21. At Friday's closing price, those shares would be worth about $21.8 million.
Assuming the special projects designation is not a dodge to disguise another retirement or even a demotion, one intriguing possibility is that Mansfield will join Paul Deneve, the former CEO of Yves Saint Laurent, who was hired by Apple in early July, given a vice president title and set to work on "special projects." Deneve also reports directly to Cook.
Analysts interpreted Deneve's hiring as Apple's need to bring aboard an executive experienced in fashion and luxury goods to lead a group working on the oft-rumored "iWatch." Mansfield's long experience at Apple in engineering would seemingly make him a prime candidate to lead the hardware development of a wearable computer or iPhone accessory.
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