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Bob Mansfield reportedly to focus on chips as Apple’s “special projects” group starts coming together

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After this weekend’s big shakeup on Apple’s(s AAPL) executive team there’s now a little bit more clarity as to what is going on with the leadership team in Cupertino. Bob Mansfield, who left the leadership team to work on “special projects,” is spending a lot of his focus on one of his specialties: chips.

That bit of info comes from a report from 9to5 Mac, which tracked down the reorganization of duties when Mansfield left his role as SVP of Technologies. According to the report, his duties are being divided like so:

  • SVP of Hardware Engineering Dan Riccio will continue to run the hardware group, and will now also oversee all antenna design for all iOS devices.
  •  SVP of Operations Jeff Williams will help manage special projects teams, though Mansfield will still be participating in them.

For his part, Mansfield will be mostly focused on chips, according to the report. There’s been plenty of speculation that Apple would like to move away from Intel chips in its Mac lineup. Apple has also purchased a series of small chip companies, and designs its own mobile processors.

Chips are the key to any new product line Apple investigates, whether its a wearable device, a faster iPad, a television or a MacBook with Apple’s own chips inside. So it makes sense that Apple would let the longtime executive — who tried to retire last year — focus less on oversight and management of a division and really concentrate on an area that he likes and has a huge impact on the company’s future.