IBM ex-ranker to head up Apple’s iPod unit

4 Nov 2008

Mark Papermaster, the subject of a lawsuit by former employer IBM, is to take over the reins of Apple’s iPod business unit after the imminent departure of Tony Fadell, who headed the iPod team for several years.

Earlier this week, it emerged that IBM filed a lawsuit against Papermaster, who was Big Blue’s blades and servers guru, over his decision to join a rival technology firm.

Papermaster is understood to have signed a contract with IBM agreeing not to work for a rival company for a full year after his departure.

Future Human

In a suit filed at a court in Manhattan, IBM said that Papermaster was one of 300 executives who had top-level access to IBM’s top intellectual property secrets. For 26 years, Papermaster served IBM as head of its Integration and Values team.

Papermaster is understood to be assuming responsibility for Apple’s music player division.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the father of the iPod, Tony Fadell, is leaving for personal reasons having headed up the division that changed Apple’s fortunes.

Apple has sold nearly 60 million iPod devices to date, and the game-changing technology paved the way for the company’s eventual move into the smart phone business with the eponymous iPhone.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: the Apple iPod Touch, one of the devices from the iPod family, which turned Apple’s fortunes around

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years