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Top Apple hardware engineer Bob Mansfield puts the brakes on retirement

Apple hardware guru Bob Mansfield has pulled a Michael Jordan, reversing his June decision to retire from the company. Instead, he will stay on to "work on future products," Apple has announced..

Mansfield, whose post as senior vice president of hardware design has been filled Dan Riccio, will report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the company said in a statement.

Riccio and Apple's vice president of Mac software engineering Craig Federighi were both named senior vice presidents, reporting to Cook. Riccio and Federighi will serve on Apple's executive management team, the company said.

Mansfield joined Apple in 1999 after the company acquired Raycer Graphics, where he served as vice president of engineering. He has led the Mac hardware team since 2005, iPhone and iPad hardware engineering since 2010, and the iPad hardware team since the initiation of a tablet product line at Apple.

Riccio joined Apple in 1998 as vice president of product design.

"Dan has been one of Bob's key lieutenants for a very long time and is very well respected within Apple and by the industry," Cook said when Apple announced Mansfield's now-rescinded retirement schedule on 28 June. "Our hardware engineering team is the best engineering team on earth and will not miss a beat during the transition."

Riccio, who was instrumental in the development of the first-generation iPad, will head the engineering teams responsible for Apple's Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod products. Federighi, who worked at NeXT and Apple before a decade-long stint at Ariba, rejoined the Cupertino-based company in 2009. He currently leads the Mac OS X development team as well as Apple's common operating system engineering teams.