Heads rolling at Beats as Apple eliminating redundant positions, Ian Rogers & Trent Reznor to stay on

Eddy Cue, Jimmy Iovine, Apple, Beats Music, Code Conference

As Apple’s acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music nears completion this financial quarter, the Cupertino and Culver City, California-based companies have begun work on transitioning select employees and technology resources from Beats to Apple, according to sources briefed on the transition. Apple executives have visited Beats’ Southern California headquarters this week and last week to offer groups of employees positions at Apple and to notify some members of the Beats staff that they will not be included in the transition.

Many Beats employees in development and creative roles have been offered positions at Apple. Many of these employees will be offered space in Apple’s Cupertino offices, but Apple is said to plan to retain the Los Angeles-area offices, and select engineers on the Beats Music streaming service will continue working out of Southern California. An email from Apple CEO Tim Cook detailed earlier this year that Beats hardware employees would transition to Phil Schiller’s team in Cupertino, so it seems likely that the headphone and speaker makers will make up the majority of the new Cupertino staff…

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Apple hires Patrick Pruniaux, VP of Tag Heuer Sales and Retail, for iWatch marketing

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Earlier today, the CEO of Tag Heuer revealed to CNBC that Apple has hired one of the watch-makers sales directors. However, the company did not announce the name of this “director” or the person’s exact position. A source directly familiar with the Apple hire confirmed that the Cupertino-based company hired Patrick Pruniaux late last month. Pruniaux is not just any “Sales Director:” he was the Vice President of Sales and Retail, a major loss for Tag Heuer and a significant hire for Apple in the run up the launch of the Apple smart watch in October. Pruniaux is pictured in the photo above (second person from the right), and his LinkedIn profile reveals his impressive work in jewelry and watch marketing:

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Apple opens stunning new (and more private) Caffè Macs employee cafeteria in Cupertino

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Photo via Foursquare

According to employee tweets and photos, Apple opened a stunning new Caffè Macs employee cafeteria at the corner of Bandley and Alves Dr. in Cupertino this past Tuesday. Located close to the company’s first campus building, Apple received approval to build at this location in early 2012, and after 2 years of work, the new cafeteria is complete.

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Foundation walls start to take shape around Campus 2 project as Apple permanently closes Pruneridge Ave.

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The first walls around Apple’s Campus 2 have begun to take shape, as noted by KCBS reporter Ron Cervi, in a tweet today. Previously, more photos from KCBS showed the site’s considerable excavation under way, and earlier photos from March detailed the demolition work of the former HP campus on the site, which was almost complete at that time.

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Angela Ahrendts’ plan for the future of Apple Retail: China emphasis, mobile payments, revamped experience

Ahrendts succeeds Jobs, Johnson, and Browett (Graphic by Michael Steeber)

When Ron Johnson finalized his decision to move from leading Apple’s retail strategy to become the Chief Executive Officer of J.C. Penney, the executive jumped in his car to drive to Steve Jobs’ home and notify the Apple co-founder in his living room of the decision. During his short car ride to Jobs’ Palo Alto home in the summer of 2011, Johnson likely thought about how he would explain his choice. But what Johnson likely did not imagine is that it would take nearly three years for Apple to find a true new leader for the stores the duo created.

In one of current Apple CEO Tim Cook’s first major missteps, the long-time operations maestro hired John Browett, formerly of Dixons, to run retail. Browett’s hire was immediately met with skepticism from Apple customers and retail employees, but Cook defended the hire and called the British executive the “best [choice] by far” to run Apple’s retail division. In the six months that he ran retail, Browett cut back on employee hours, initiated layoffs, and fell out culturally with the rest of the Apple executive team.

John Browett visiting Apple Store

Alongside Scott Forstall, Browett was ejected from the Cupertino-based company, leaving Tim Cook and head-hunting firm Egon Zehnder, again, with the tall task of finding a suitable replacement for Ron Johnson. As the man who ran Dixons, the United Kingdom equivalent to Best Buy, Browett was in many ways built in the image of Johnson. Johnson ran Apple Retail for nearly a decade, and before that he was an executive at both Target and Mervyns. But unlike Browett, Johnson fit into Apple’s culture and was close with both Jobs and Cook throughout his tenure.

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Apple’s ‘Spaceship’ designer discusses Steve Jobs’ involvement and Stanford campus influence

Image via Cupertino.org

As Apple’s Campus 2 site steadily progresses closer toward someday being complete, Architectural Record (via Mac Rumors) has shared a recent Q&A with architect Norman Foster, the designer responsible for the structure and appearance of the future campus. In the interview, Foster describes the evolution of the project and working with Steve Jobs on Apple’s Campus 2, which is currently in the midst of construction after being approved by the city of Cupertino just last fall

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The spaceship is on the way: aerial photo shows demolition work on Apple’s Campus 2 site

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Apple’s new ‘spaceship’ headquarters has been a long time in the coming, with Steve Jobs presenting the plans to the Cupertino city council back in 2011, but work has finally begun. KCBS eye-in-the-sky reporter Ron Cervi took the above Instagram photo, showing that demolition work on the site is now underway.

While we heard last month that the demolition phase was starting, this is the first visible evidence we’ve seen. Apple also recently constructed a full-size mockup of one small section of the building in order to test construction methods and enable the company to see how the concrete elements would look in real life …  Read more

Opinion: What “three revolutionary devices” will the iWatch be?

Concept image: Stephen Olmstead

Concept image: Stephen Olmstead

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone seven years ago last week, he described it as “three revolutionary devices” in one: touchscreen iPod, mobile phone and Internet communicator.

The iPhone wasn’t the first touchscreen smartphone. It wasn’t even close: Handspring launched the Treo 180 a full five years earlier (I know this because I owned one). Same with the iPod before it, launched three years after the MPMan (yep, I owned one of those too).

Apple has never been interested in being first to market, so no-one should be remotely surprised that others launched the smartwatch first. The company’s USP is its ability to take a relatively crude piece of technology being used exclusively by geeks and turn it into something so slick, beautiful and cool that mass-market consumers will find irresistible …  Read more

New renders of Apple’s Spaceship HQ provide the most detailed view yet

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New renders released by the City of Cupertino from Apple’s planning documents provide the most detailed view yet of what life inside the company’s new spaceship headquarters will be like.

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Illustrating everything from cafes to car-parks, the renders are intended to provide a feel for what the building will be like to work in, rather than just its appearance as a structure. They also include additional renders of the upper level of the 1,000-seat auditorium.

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Full gallery below …

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Apple shows off its Campus 2 project video to Cupertino

(full video below)

Yesterday, we saw Apple’s models for the new Campus 2 project. Today, Cupertino released this video of the council meeting where Apple presented. The Campus 2 video Apple produced looks like an Apple product video. I really like it, especially the Steve Jobs bits.

Apple also released an updated project plan including more solar roofing (below).  Read more

Apple publishes report detailing its economic impact on Cupertino

Apple today published a report on its website detailing the “Economic and Fiscal Impacts Generated by Apple in Cupertino – Current Facilities and Apple Campus 2.” 

Apple-Campus-2-economic-impact-report-May-2013Apple notes that the report, which details a number of topics from job creation to construction of its new spaceship campus, was put together by Keyser Marston Associates, Inc. (KMA) for the City of Cupertino under contract with Apple Inc.

With net annual sales in excess of $156 billion, 16,000 employees currently based in the Cupertino area, and annual purchases from local Silicon Valley-based businesses of $4.6 billion, Apple is a cornerstone of the Silicon Valley economy and of the fiscal resources of the City of Cupertino.

Much of the report focuses on the economic impacts and future contributions of Apple’s currently under construction Apple Campus 2. In the report, Apple details how its new campus will “add an estimated 7,400 new high-quality jobs,” increase revenues for the local economy, and enhance tax revenues for the city and surrounding areas. Apple says it will support 24,000 jobs in Cupertino alone when the campus is ready in 2016.

It also detailed investments being made in public improvements surrounding its new campus including infrastructure and utility improvements and its transportation program: Read more