Apple promotes Jeff Williams to senior VP

Like anything else at Apple, this promotion will probably result in rampant speculation about exactly what's going on internally.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
Jeff Williams, Apple's senior vice president of operations Apple

Apple has updated the executive biography of Jeff Williams from vice president of operations to senior vice president of operations, explaining that the decade-plus veteran of the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is "responsible for end-to-end supply chain management and dedicated to ensuring that Apple products meet the highest standards of quality."

Williams, who will continue to report to Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, had served as vice president of operations since 2004, and prior to that had been head of worldwide procurement. AppleInsider was the first to catch wind of the promotion.

There have been no explicit signs connecting this promotion to anything surrounding a high-profile "standards of quality" issue that Apple has faced lately: reports from iPhone owners and reviewers that the iPhone 4's external antenna causes degraded reception when held a certain way. The tempest culminated in a rare press conference by CEO Steve Jobs on Friday addressing the issue. Jobs insisted "weak spots" are not unique to the iPhone 4 but that customers are entitled to a free rubber bumper accessory that would alleviate the problem.

But just after the "Antennagate" fix was announced, Apple reported blowout quarterly earnings. Fueled by sales of the iPhone and iPad devices, its $15.7 billion in revenue was the highest the company has ever reported.