Ellen Hancock will become Apple's chief technology officer and executive vice-president of research and development, company officials have announced.
Hancock, who left her post as executive vice-president and chief operating officer at National Semiconductor earlier this year, becomes the second National Semi executive to follow Gilbert Amelio to Apple since Amelio became CEO in February, officials say. George Scalise joined Apple as chief administrative officer in February.
Hancock fills a post vacated by David Nagel, Apple's former R&D vice-president, who left the company in April to head AT&T Labs. She is the first to hold the title of chief technical officer, which Amelio created as part of a recent reorganisation.
Hancock, a 28-year veteran of IBM, is well prepared for the CTO post, according to one analyst. At IBM, she started as a programmer and rose to the position of senior vice-president and group executive in charge of IBM's networking hardware, networking software and software solutions divisions. At National Semi, she focused on technology, applications and product development.
"It's a perfect match," says Sam Albert, president of Sam Albert Associates, in Scarsdale, New York.
From a management perspective, Hancock's appointment is good news, both because she's an outsider and because she's worked with Amelio and Scalise, according to another analyst.
"It's a well-oiled team," says Pieter Hartsook, editor of The Hartsook Letter, based in Alameda, California. "They've worked together before, and they've been successful and now they're going to go and do the same thing for Apple."
Hartsook added that for the next 15 months, Amelio should make Hancock's priority "getting the technology to the market as opposed to inventing new technology."