Henri Lamiraux may not be a very familiar name to all of us. But if you love the iOS platform, you will know that one of the top executives at Apple Inc. has recently announced his exit from the firm having decided that iOS seven would be his final release. He is the latest to join the exodus of top executives at Apple which has seen key figures like Doug Field, George Blakenship and Boris Teksler leave the firm in recent times. But unlike his counterparts, Lamiraux is not moving to just another company and is simply retiring. His departure is definitely seen as a blow to Apple as his achievements and innovative ideas as an operating system developer has received global acclaim.
A chemical engineer by training, he is a long time veteran having begun his career in the early 1990s as a Mac software engineer. The major part of his tenure was spent working on operating system (OS) ‘X’. Once Apple transitioned into an inter-network operating system (iOS) based company, he had the foresight to make a similar transition. He has worked his way up the corporate ladder from a software engineer manager, director of software engineering for iOS in October 2005 to become the vice-president (VP) of engineering for the iOS iPhone, iPad and iPod touch operating system in September 2009.
With Craig Federighi becoming the Senior VP last year, Lamiraux’s role had become more critical than ever. He moved to the iOS team around 2005, making him one of the few engineers working on the iPhone project from the beginning. He was essentially the head of iOS as well as working alongside the design, testing and wireless software vice-presidents. Before Federighi took over, Lamiraux was responsible for the skeuomorphic direction of iOS five and six, with computer interfaces that resembled real life objects.
Sources within Apple’s division say that he held a respectable position and was in charge of developing the software that came with iOS. He was in charge of oversight for development and distribution, led the feature implementation across OS as well as fixing bugs with iOS and building app frameworks for iOS. He took on more responsibility in developing the mobile OS by managing the frameworks within the operating system that power features and enables developers to build on applications. He has his name on a number of important patents including the visual voicemail feature that debuted along with Apple’s best-selling smartphone.
Outside of Apple, he is a well-known figure among the App Store developers. He frequently appeared in Apple’s yearly convention for developers and worldwide developer conferences. He also led the keynote address for developers following the consumer and media presentation last year.
At a time when Apple’s software engineering division is moving out of the strong leadership influence of Scott Forstall, Lamiraux’s departure is a significant loss for Apple. He is known to be one of the top leaders and visionaries of arguably the most important and fast selling product of Apple. It is unlikely that tech geeks will see significant changes within iOS because of this, but his departure will be felt both within Apple and outside of it.