Reports of Bob Mansfield’s removal from Apple’s executive team were swirling around the internet earlier, so John Gruber did some “asking around” to find out what exactly it is that Bob Mansfield will be doing over in Cupertino.

Apple’s response was to the finding that he had been removed from Apple’s executive team was that he would be staying to work on “special projects,” and that is what most people were wondering about. Here is what Gruber had to say:

After asking around, word on the Cupertino street is that there’s nothing to read between the lines regarding Bob Mansfield no longer being on Apple’s executive team. Apple’s statement means exactly what it says — Mansfield is well-liked at all levels within the company and truly is working on special projects (read: new products). No euphemism there. (…) There’s nothing punitive with Mansfield’s role change, nor health problems or anything like that. Just a more focused role on certain new products. His un-retirement as a senior vice president last year was always intended to be transitional, not permanent… Outside the company, we were surprised Mansfield’s return as an SVP turned out to be temporary. Inside Apple, they seem surprised we’d read “backstage intrigue” into his de-listing from their executive ranks.

Special projects, though? Apple obviously would be the last company to give out any information on what that could possibly mean, however it is believed that the iWatch is very possibly in his list of things to work on. It’ll be interesting to see what becomes of his “new” role, and hopefully we will get to see very soon.

What do you think? Wonder what he is working on? What do you hope it is? Let us know in the comments

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