Apple’s mixed reality headset is a big deal for the company, and after some doubts, many top executives are now involved with the project in an attempt to push it to success. Apple’s AR and VR headsets are expected to be unveiled during WWDC 2023 in June and could be the launch of a whole new platform for the company. Because its success or failure has a great impact on the company and the industry, many of Apple’s top executives are working hard to realize this vision.
In Mark Gurman’s “Power On” newsletter for Bloomberg, the list of executives involved in the seven-year journey includes Mike Rockwell, who oversaw the engineering of the device. “He’s a complete genius, and if anyone could pull this off, it’s him,” said one person involved in the development.
Given this intimacy and involvement, Rockwell could be one of the facets of the device’s unveiling. Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams oversees the design team, including the Human Interface Group, which is responsible for the overall vision. Williams also managed the manufacturing of the device itself, which is apparently considered internally to be the most complex product Apple has ever designed.
Between Rockwell and the top executive team is Dan Ricco, who has spent the past two years solely working on the headset. Rockwell also has senior deputy Paul Meade, who handles hardware engineering for the headset and previously worked on iPhone hardware management until 2017.
Jony Ive was also named on the list because, while he held a part-time role in the headset’s early creation, he pushed for an isolated design that avoided existing headsets. That includes pushing for a portable design without a base station, an outward-facing display that lets others see the user’s eyes, and a smooth transition between VR and AR.
While Ive is no longer with Apple, he was still involved in designing the headset until his contract ended a year ago.
Other names on the list include Greg Joswiak, Phil Schiller, Frank Casanova, Kim Wallace, Jeff Norris, Johnny Srouge, Shannon Gunnar Smith and Jeff Starr, all Apple heavyweights.