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(Pocket-lint) - Apple has announced it is shuffling its executive lineup, and in the process, it also revealed it is working on a new project.

Dan Riccio, who has served as senior VP of engineering for Apple hardware since 2012, is now transitioning to a new role to focus on a new project and will report directly to CEO Tim Cook, according to an Apple press release. The company didn't elaborate, which is not surprising, but it begs the question: What, exactly, will Riccio be dedicating all his time to going forward?

It must be something big, right?

Currently, Apple is rumoured to be developing an autonomous electric car and a headset possibly capable of augmented reality or virtual reality or both. It's also, of course, working on the AirTags and several updates across its portfolio, but for Riccio to be assigned a new role dedicated to one project only, it has to be something more than MacBook refreshes and item trackers.

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Apple noted Riccio has been a leader in designing, developing, and engineering almost all of Apple’s products -- from the first-generation iMac to the more recent 5G iPhone lineup, M1-based Macs, and AirPods Max. Apple said he "scaled up" the company's ability to innovate.

Replacing Riccio on Apple’s executive team is John Ternus. He's been the VP of hardware engineering since 2013.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 26 January 2021.