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Bob Mansfield bio vanishes from Apple executive leadership page

The executive was at the center of a shakeup that began with his announced retirement and ultimately led to a promotion. Apple says Mansfield will remain at Apple working on special projects reporting to Tim Cook.

Apple's Bob Mansfield.

Bob Mansfield, the Apple executive at the center of a mysterious executive shakeup last year, has disappeared from the company's executive leadership page.

The Apple technology chief's bio vanished from the page in the past 24 hours, according to MacRumors, which first reported on the development. However, a version of his page retrieved a week ago is still accessible on Google's Web cache.

Mansfield, who was formerly Apple's senior vice president of hardware engineering, announced his intention to retire in June 2012, and the company said that he would be replaced by Dan Riccio, Apple's vice president of iPad hardware engineering.

That decision was soon overturned as part of a change-up in Apple's top ranks that left him as an adviser to CEO Tim Cook on "future products." Two months later, Apple changed his role once again, putting him charge of the company's technologies group.

Apple never commented publicly on the latter developments, but the selection of Riccio as Mansfield's replacement apparently did not sit well with some of the company's top employees, who went to Cook to protest the choice, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. After several senior members on Mansfield's team voiced concern that Riccio was not prepared for the job, Cook reportedly approached Mansfield and offered him a pay package worth $2 million a month to stay with the company.

A leaked companywide e-mail from Cook last October noted that Mansfield would be staying on with Apple for another two years. A month later, Mansfield, who joined Apple when the company acquired Raycer Graphics in 1999, sold 35,000 shares of Apple stock, worth just over $20 million, leaving him with about 30,000 shares.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

Updated at 8 p.m. PT: An Apple spokesperson told Reuters that Mansfield has been removed from the executive team but remains employed by the company on special projects.