Apple Names Jeff Williams Chief Operating Officer

What’s happening: Executive shuffling, yada yada yada, Phil Schiller is being put in charge of the App Stores. All of them: iOS, Mac, TV. And Tor Myhren is taking over some of Phil’s responsibilities in advertising.

Why it matters: The App Stores have previously been considered a service, similar to iCloud and the iTunes store. As such, they’ve been under the leadership of Eddie Cue. This hasn’t necessarily been a bad thing; his ability to make deals was part of what made the original iTunes music store possible, and his leadership is at work in Apple Music now. He’s also been responsible for some of the recent improvements to iCloud.

But with the App Stores becoming more and more important to the future of Apple’s platforms, they need a new approach. The current App Stores are great at making software developers rich… if those software developers happen to be working at companies making free-to-play-but-pay-to-win games with marketing budgets ten times the size of development budgets. There’s a reason prominent developers are leaving the App Store. Phil Schiller’s official title is “Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing,” but bear in mind that “Marketing” means the whole product being sold, not just advertising. With this new change, Apple can start approaching the App Stores like products, only instead of selling them to users, they’re selling them to developers.

These changes leave everyone free to focus:

  • Eddie now gets to focus on making Apple Music even better. And maybe actually get the tv service off the ground (but that’s another story).
  • Tor Myhren gets to focus on commercials, billboards, all the stuff that people typically think of when they think of “marketing.”
  • Phil gets to focus on the products themselves, which now includes the App Stores that make those products more important and useful.
  • Hopefully this is the change the App Stores need. I’m excited.

    Link via Dave Mark at The Loop.