When Phil Schiller gave up his responsibilities overseeing Apple’s worldwide marketing two years ago, it seemed like one of the company’s most powerful executives was hanging up his spurs to become an emeritus figure at the company, as suggested by his scholarly-sounding new job title: Apple Fellow.
But Schiller is still very much in the thick of the action at Apple, where he continues to put in long hours, according to people familiar with this role. The duties he held on to—overseeing the App Store, Apple’s distribution hub for software designed for devices like the iPhone—has positioned him at the center of the Apple business that is attracting the most scrutiny from antitrust regulators in the U.S. and abroad. Last year, Schiller served as a key witness for Apple in the antitrust lawsuit Epic Games filed against the company over its App Store practices (Apple largely prevailed in the case).
And if a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the company progresses to a lawsuit in the coming months, as is expected, Schiller will almost certainly be a leading figure in the legal drama for years.