FORTUNE — Anybody who follows Apple (AAPL) with more than passing interest couldn’t help but wonder what was behind the surprise retirement in June and sudden reinstatement two months later of Bob Mansfield, the company’s long-time senior vice president of hardware engineering. (See Early retirement isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.)
A well-reported feature story in
pegged to the one-year anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death doesn’t shed any light on why Mansfield wanted to leave, but it does seem to have the goods on why he came back:
That’s probably the most newsworthy nugget in the Businessweek story. Veteran Apple reporters Brad Stone, Adam Satariano and Peter Burrows interviewed more than two dozen current and former Apple executives, employees and partners and concluded that Apple is a happier and somewhat more transparent place under Cook.
Among the other revelations:
- There’s more office politics at Apple now, and some concern that Jobs’s departure and the arrival of thousands of new employees will dilute the culture.
- It was Jobs who initiated the much-maligned Apple Maps project, putting Scott Forstall in charge and installing a secret team on the third floor of Building 2 on Apple’s campus to replace Google Maps.
- Jobs also considered pulling Google search from the iPhone, but feared customers would revolt.
- Apple plans to spend $1 billion this year researching next-generation laser-cutting technologies that can create thinner, lighter devices.
- The company is also spending heavily on chip design and has considered moving away from Intel chips in the Macintosh.
It’s a good read. You can get it here.