Mansfield changes roles at Apple; company probing labor issues

|About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)|By:, SA News Editor

Apple (AAPL) engineering chief Bob Mansfield is no longer on the company's executive team, and instead will work on "special projects," while still reporting to Tim Cook. His bio has disappeared from Apple's executive profiles page.

Mansfield, Apple's long-time hardware engineering head, temporarily announced his retirement last year, only to be lured back (reportedly following employee discontent over his departure) and given a bigger role as part of Tim Cook's Oct. '12 shakeup. A $2M/month salary may have helped convince him.

Former Yves Saint-Laurent CEO Paul Deneve was named a "special projects" VP earlier this month. Many speculate he's working on an iWatch.

Separately, Apple says it's sending audit teams to 3 Chinese factories accused by Chinese Labor Watch of having poor working/living conditions.