‘Father of the iPod’ quits Apple

Tony Fadell, the senior vice president of the iPod division at Apple is leaving the company for personal reasons.

Fadell – credited as the “father” of the iPod and part of the team involved in iPhone development – joined Apple equipped with a vision for the iPod. He has been part of the iPod group since 2001.

“Tony’s idea was to take an MP3 player, build a Napster music sale service to complement it, and build a company around it,” a report explains. “Tony had the business idea.”

Fadell approached several companies with his idea – including Real Networks – and was rejected by them all, with the exception of Apple (and we can see why other firms bit the dust in digital music).

Fadell is to be replaced by former IBM executive Mark Papermaster, recently recruited by Apple from IBM, where he led PowerPC chip development and IBM’s Edge Server team.

That Apple is recruiting a processor specialist to lead this team isn’t so surprising. Earlier this year the company invested in a firm called PA Semi, with Apple CEO Steve Jobs confirming that purchase was to put together a team to develop future processors for the company’s mobile devices, the iPod and the iPhone.

Prior to joining Apple, Fadell was a cofounder, CTO, and director of engineering of the Mobile Computing Group at Philips Electronics where he was responsible for all aspects of business and product development for a variety of products. Fadell later became VP of business development for Philips U.S. Strategy & Ventures focused on building the company’s digital media strategy & investment portfolio.  Prior to joining Philips, Fadell was a hardware and software architect at General Magic.

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