In his new role as senior vice president of operations, Williams continues to report to Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook. Among his responsibilities are keeping tabs on Apple’s entire supply chain and overseeing the quality of the company’s products.
Williams was previously the vice president of operations, a title he acquired in 2004 after six years as Apple’s head of worldwide procurement. He began overseeing worldwide operations for the iPod and the iPhone with the latter’s launch in 2007. Before his stint with Apple, Williams worked for IBM in operations and engineering; he earned his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University and also has an MBA from Duke University.
The promotion places Williams as the point man for Apple’s quality assurance, which has taken some knocks in public perception with the recent launch of the iPhone 4 and the ensuing fuss over the phone’s antenna. Some also suggest that Williams may be in line to succeed Cook, who himself has been considered a potential candidate to take over for CEO Steve Jobs in some distant, uncertain future.