Henri Lamiraux, Apple’s top iOS Engineering Vice President, leaves company after 23 years

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Henri Lamiraux, Apple’s top Vice President of Engineering for the iOS iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system has left the company, according to a source and corroborated by his LinkedIn profile.

Lamiraux confirmed his departure to me via email. He says that he retired from Apple a “couple of weeks” ago, following the release of iOS 7.0.3. Lamiraux decided a “little while ago” that iOS 7 would be his last release…

Sources within Apple’s iOS division say Lamiraux is respected and he was in charge of developing the applications that come with iOS. The executive also led feature-implementation across the operating system, and he managed both bug-fixing processes and feature distribution to consumers. He also managed the frameworks within the operating system that power features and allow developers to build applications…

With Craig Federighi becoming the Senior VP of both iOS and OS X last fall, Lamiraux’s role became more critical than ever. He was essentially the “head of iOS” while Federighi managed all software, according to descriptions from sources. Before working under Federighi, Lamiraux was a top lieutenant to Scott Forstall, working alongside design, testing, and wireless software vice presidents.

Last year’s executive shakeup moved around some of these vice presidents, but sources say that Apple has since slowly moved VPs back to the iOS division. For example, with Bob Mansfield’s recent role reduction from the executive team, wireless software engineering has moved back to Federighi’s domain.

Lamiraux started his career at Apple in the form of a Mac software engineer. Over the course of his over-two-decade-tenure at Apple, he worked his way to the top via positions as a Mac software engineering manager, director of software engineering for iOS, and senior director of engineering for iOS. Lamiraux moved to the iOS team around 2005, making him one of the few engineers to work on the iPhone project from the beginning. He worked at Apple for 23 years.

Outside of Apple, Lamiraux was known to App Store developers as he frequently appeared in developer sessions and videos at WWDC conferences. Additionally, in 2012, he led the keynote address for developers following the consumer and media presentation.

At a time where Apple’s software engineering division is moving out of almost-decade-long influence from the leadership of Scott Forstall, Lamiraux’s departure as being one of the top leaders of Apple’s arguably single-most-important product, is a significant loss for Apple. It’s unlikely that consumers will see additional changes within iOS because of the departure, and Apple is moving strong with the future of iOS under the guide of Jony Ive and engineering prowess of Craig Federighi.

Apple’s Software Engineering division is already working on the follow-ups to OS X Mavericks and iOS 7. OS X 10.10, codenamed “Syrah,” is expected to feature a redesigned user-interface, while iOS 8 is said to include additional software-integration for the new iPhone and iPad M7 motion chip and new features for Apple’s built-in Maps app.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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  1. That is a big loss. Hopefully someone equally capable was transitioned in to take his place.

    • rogifan - 9 years ago

      Interestingly he’s not listed as inventor on many Apple patents. I looked him up and counted 12 compared to over 100 for Forstall.

    • Point taken. But being that he in charge of the iOS, which is Apple’s cash cow and pretty much its future, that’s not a position that Apple wants to leave unfilled for too long.

      • rogifan - 9 years ago

        Craig Federighi runs iOS. And most of the engineers listed on patents with Scott Forstall are still at Apple as far as we know.

  2. rogifan - 9 years ago

    So someone retires from Apple. I don’t see what the big deal is or how this is a devastating loss. Other than 9to5Mac needed something that will garner more click bait and get picked up at places like Business Insider.

    • Xavier Poirot (@dalaen) - 9 years ago

      Did you read the news?
      You’d understand why it’s important then, for people involved with Apple devices, especially mobile devices.

      • rogifan - 9 years ago

        The guy worked at Apple for 23 years and decided to retire. Should he be forced to work at Apple forever? I’m sure Apple has plenty of very good software engineers that can fill his shoes.

      • Jordan Mollot - 9 years ago

        It is kind of click bait, though. The title of the article is a bit misleading. They conveniently used the word “leaves” rather than “retires” in the title of an article that is about a person retiring from a job. The use of the word “leaves” in the phrase “[someone] leaves company after 23 years” connotes that he left the company on bad terms. While using the word “retires” makes the situation sound amicable.

    • Tim Jr. - 9 years ago

      I agree. Odds are, like many larger companies, they ad a succession planned. He probably has been grooming a few potentials for some time. Retirement isn’t like most things. The second he started talking about it, odds are good they offered a bit extra to make it a smooth transition. Cases like this are usually more planned. Bob is another example..

      If he were leaving to another company.. that would be a kick in the nutters.

  3. Jim Phong - 9 years ago

    Tim Cook is doing his best to kill Apple. After the mess the just did with iPhone 5C and all the billions he keeps giving to investors suckers putting Apple in danger.

    • Tim Jr. - 9 years ago

      Eh? Mess with 5c? You mean the best selling mid range phone in the world? One that outsells even the Galaxy S4 in 2 our of the 4 major carriers in the US?

      Giving money to investors? you mean the people that fund the company shouldn’t make money?

    • Carlos Gomes (@Phrenytz) - 9 years ago

      That model is selling isn’t it?
      Investors aren’t charities, are they?
      People retire, don’t they?

      You are a bit angst, aren’t you?

  4. rogifan - 9 years ago

    This story mentions that the wireless teams are under Federighi now. The official board website updated Apple’s org chart and added Stephen Zadesky who is VP of mechanical design at Apple. He’s shown reporting to Jony Ive, but in an older org chart done by Adam Lashinsky at Fortune Zadesky was shown reporting to Bob Mansfield.

    Makes me wonder if Dan Riccio has a more limited role than Mansfield did. I remember last summer when it was announced Mansfield was retiring there were rumors that people who worked under him complained to Cook that Riccio wasn’t ready to take over that role. And Mansfield did end up staying on after Forstall left.

  5. jameskatt - 9 years ago

    I wonder what he got for retirement. More than the vast majority of us, I’m sure. To last 23 years at Apple with most as a Vice President – where everything is your fault and there is no excuse for failure – is amazing. That means he is really really great. Apple will miss him.

  6. David Michael Garon - 9 years ago

    I’m sure Mr. Lamiraux was important in such a top level role, but, I’ve found that in 50 years of being in business that no one is irreplaceable. Quite likely there are dozens of brilliant younger programers out there who would kick a** in his position.

    It could be that after 23 years Mr. L. either wanted to do something else with his life or just simply retire. Keep in mind that (not counting Apple Store employees) there are nearly 30,000 people who work for Apple. Consider the possibility that the person just below Mr. L. is a likely replacement.

    I know the media will play this up as a “brain-drain” at Apple. That’s what the media has become — a vehicle for sensationalizing the unsensational. If you want real news, don’t look to the “News” to find it!

    • PMZanetti - 9 years ago

      Truer words rarely spoken on this particular blog.

    • rogifan - 9 years ago

      It’s really sad though when Apple friendly rumor/news sites do the same.

      • rettun1 - 9 years ago

        But that’s the purpose of these sites – to get us excited about stuff and let us know what’s going on with our favorite company.

        But mainstream news seems to benefit from the “Is Apple going to fall soon?” Line that they keep repeating

  7. markbyrn (@markbyrn) - 9 years ago

    oh no, Apple is doomed again.

  8. Jeremy Fryman - 9 years ago

    Bad news that the software locks into deeper integration with Apple (only) maps. A serious downgrade to Aperture. Corporate rules win over and kill all the freedom we used to enjoy. Good news for joggers I guess.

  9. charilaosmulder - 9 years ago

    Is there anything wrong withing Apple? Quite a lot execs are leaving, and I don’t just mean the fired ones.

    • rogifan - 9 years ago

      Quite a lot? Source?

      • charilaosmulder - 9 years ago

        9to5 last year, sales execs, scott, mansfield, henri and even more as far as i remember

    • Carlos Gomes (@Phrenytz) - 9 years ago

      Nope, the thing is that everything related to Apple is always news.
      Just like the bugs. When an iOS bug appears, the world goes mad. When other mobile OS’s bugs appear no one hears about it ’cause no one cares

  10. Jim Dawkins - 9 years ago

    Best to leave on a good note before the post Jobs folks screw up IOS. I highly doubt Steve Jobs would have approved the release of the new IOS7.

  11. Kenny Holmes - 9 years ago

    This is another big loss for team ios. This seems to be a time of change at apple with tons of smart people leaving. Idk but I am worried for apple now.

  12. david0296 - 9 years ago

    At least he could have fixed those hideous lime green icons for Messages and FaceTime before he left. Thanks for nothing, Henri. PS: Using a fluorescent box of Crayons as your color palette isn’t innovative, it’s lazy… and it makes iOS7 look like a child’s toy instead of the sophisticated operating system that it is.

  13. Truffol (@Truffol) - 9 years ago

    Leaving on a good note! iOS7 has been proven successful and well liked – great job! His successor has big shoes to fill for sure.