The role Apple latest recruit Paul Deneve, former CEO of Yves Saint Laurent has led to many news outlets speculating that he was there to oversee the launch of Apple’s iWatch.
9to5 mac reported that Deneve will report as a Vice President to Apple CEO Tim Cook and will work on “special projects,” not in retail.
However, Horace Dediu has a different take on it:
So it would make little sense to add a new direct report to this chart that did have a specific product ownership (or creation) role. Product is a “horizontal” responsibility for which every function is partially responsible.
In lieu of this, my reading of the chart shows another function for which there seems to be no leader: brand. Brand management is a crucial function in consumer-facing companies, and many brands-oriented companies orient their organizations (and power) around brand mangers.
In years gone by I would have said that Brand management was Steve Jobs’ direct responsibility. Today I would say that it’s something that needs a direct manager. This is something for which Paul Deneve might be well suited.