Apple's developer relations head reportedly retires, is replaced by marketing exec

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What you need to know

  • Ron Okamoto has reportedly retired from his role as developer relations chief.
  • Marketing executive Susan Prescott has reportedly taken over the role.

Apple's developer relations head has reportedly retired, with a marketing executive taking over.

Ron Okamoto had been at Apple since he was hired by Steve Jobs in 2001 as vice president of developer relations, according to a Bloomberg report. Okamoto was responsible for overseeing app review, among other things including WWDC.

Ron Okamoto was hired by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 2001 as vice president of developer relations after previously serving as an executive at Adobe Inc. At Apple, Okamoto helped oversee the app-review process and policies, distribution of tools to build and sell apps, forums and technical developer support, the annual WWDC conference, awards for developers, and developer communications.

Okamoto's role has been taken on by Susan Prescott, a "respected Apple marketing executive" who runs the marketing for Apple's apps, services, and enterprise initiatives.

While the App Store itself is something that falls under Phil Schiller, developer relations is an important part of that especially given its role in whether apps are allowed into the App Store, or not.

Apple is yet to confirm the change.

Apple's App Store policies have often come under fire by developers who have struggled to deal with the often opaque rules that are applied to their apps. Developer relations is an important part of the process as a whole and one that can change the way an app rejection pans out. Whether this change has an impact on the day-to-day running of app review however, remains to be seen.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.