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More on Apple’s Anobit acquisition: Team remains in Israel (for now), headed by notable chip VP

During the question-and-answer section of Apple’s blowout Q1 2012 earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook let out a widely known fact from within the company: Apple Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield is now in charge of the team that comes from Anobit, an Israel-based SSD company that Apple acquired earlier this month. Cook also said Apple is integrating Anobit’s talent into Apple’s current workflow. Cook did, however, leave out some crucial details about Anobit’s integration into Apple.

We have some of the missing details, below:

While Apple may eventually fully integrate the staff and resources of Anobit into its Cupertino headquarters, the staff is currently staying put in its current suite of offices. Anobit’s offices are now known internally as “Herzliya Pituah – A,” and Apple may even expand these offices into its rumored Israel Research and Development center.

Notably, Anobit’s top executives are said to not be leading the center in Israel, but rather Apple Vice President Johny Srouji is heading the team. Srouji, Apple’s vice president of VLSI, specializes in microprocessor design according to his LinkedIn profile. Also notable, Srouji was a senior manager at Intel’s Israel-based research and development firm in his years before working at senior levels at Apple. While, as Cook said, Mansfield is technically in charge of Anobit now, Srouji is actively leading Anobit’s staff and resources, and he is reporting to Mansfield. He is also Apple’s highest-ranking employee working out of Israel.

Apple’ Israel group talent expands beyond Srouji with the company employing a former Chief Technology Officer from Texas Instruments Etai Zaltsman as a high-level employee in its Israel offices. Something also interesting about the Anobit acquisition is that the company’s cofounder, chairperson and CEO Ehud Weinstein is apparently not going to stay with Apple. He plans to stick around initially during the transition, but he will depart soon after.

With Apple’s new talent stationed in Israel, it appears that Apple is taking a focus on processor and solid-state-drive design in a country that specializes in that technology. Srouji’s involvement in Apple’s new Israel headquarters is a major breakthrough— as with his experience in Israel-based research and development centers, Apple’s rumored interested in an Israel R&D center, and the new talent from Anobit. All put together, a true Apple R&D center in Israel may very well be what Anobit’s offices turn into.

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