Apple has made a significant change in leadership - triggering new speculation about Apple Glass. (Update: a Bloomberg report has since claimed that the project is indeed AR and VR.)

Dan Riccio is now taking care of a "new project" at Apple and is handing over his position as Senior VP of Hardware Engineering to John Ternus, Apple reports in a press release.

Ricco said: "After 23 years of leading our Product Design or Hardware Engineering teams - culminating with our biggest and most ambitious product year ever - it's the right time for a change. Next up, I'm looking forward to doing what I love most - focusing all my time and energy at Apple on creating something new and wonderful that I couldn't be more excited about."

Apple does not explain what this new project is, of course, but there are some indications that Riccio has been given supervision over the development of the VR/AR glasses, which have been making the rounds of the rumour mill as "Apple Glass" for some time. Most recently, Bloomberg reported problems that would prevent publication before 2022. Such a project could use a little tighter management in this case, Dan Riccio will report directly to Tim Cook in his new role.

This approach is a tradition at Apple, in 2016 Cupertino brought Bob Mansfield back from retirement to lead a special project, which was said to be the Apple Car. He retired (again) from that role in 2020.

John Ternus joined Apple in 2001 and initially worked in product design. He has been Vice President for Hardware Engineering since 2013. The last time he presented himself to a wider public was in November when the new M1 Macs were presented.

This article originally appeared on Macwelt. Translation by Karen Haslam.