Apple today announced that Craig Federighi, Apple’s vice president of Mac Software Engineering, and Dan Riccio, Apple’s vice president of Hardware Engineering, have been promoted to senior vice presidents. Federighi and Riccio will report to Apple CEO Tim Cook and serve on Apple’s executive management team.

Federighi obviously makes sense given his role in the success of OS X and his visibility on stage at Apple events lately.

And Riccio makes sense given his key role in the iPad. As Apple highlights in the release, “He has been instrumental in all of Apple’s iPad products since the first generation iPad.” Of course, Riccio promotion also fills the hole left by Bob Mansfield’s upcoming retirement.

…except, wait a minute, Mansfield isn’t actually retiring. The next line in the press release:

Apple also announced that Bob Mansfield, who announced his retirement in June, will remain at Apple. Mansfield will work on future products, reporting to Tim Cook.

Um. Okay. That’s great, I guess. But considering that Apple went out of their way to announce his retirement — just two months ago — how can they get away without explaining this further?

Best guess: either we have a Jay Leno situation, or Mansfield is working on “Apple X”. I’m only half joking. Weird.

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