Tony Fadell, a major force behind the iPod, is leaving Apple for the green tech industry
Tony Fadell, who is said to have contributed greatly to the creation of the Apple iPod and iPhone, is officially leaving Apple after a nine-year collaboration with CEO Steve Jobs.
According to The New York Times, Fadell had an idea for a hard-drive-based digital music player in 1990s, which he approached RealNetworks with. After clashing with Rob Glaser, RealNetworks’ chief executive, Fadell instead brought the idea to Apple in 2001.
The success of the iPod and the iTunes store can hardly be overstated. On 25 Feb, Apple celebrated its 10 billionth song download—which happened to be Johnny Cash’s “Guess Things Happen That Way”—and awarded the happy downloader with a $10,000 (£6000) iTunes gift card.
Fadell stepped down as senior vice president of Apple’s iPod division in November 2008, becoming instead an adviser to Jobs. In a statement announcing the transition, Fadell’s wife Danielle Lambert was said to be leaving her position as Apple’s vice president of human resources, to “devote more time to their young family,” and Mark Papermaster, an IBM veteran, was named Apple’s senior vice president of Devices Hardware and Engineering in Fadell’s place.
According to Channel Web, the timing of Fadell’s departure was because a deadline had been reached. “Fadell was tied to Apple until 24 March as part of an employment agreement disclosed in an Apple Securities and Exchange Commission filing,” the site reported. Under the agreement, Fadell is expected to receive a payout of nearly $9 million in salary and Apple stock.
Fadell told the Times that he’s planning to turn his attention to green technology. ”My primary focus will be helping the environment by working with consumer green-tech companies,” he said. “I’m determined to tell my kids and grandkids amazing stories beyond my iPod and iPhone ones.”
With data centres—such as the one Apple built to offer cloud computing services for the iPad—being named as major contributors to global warming, let’s hope Fadell brings as many industry-changing ideas to his new ventures as he did to his tenure at Apple.