Yesterday afternoon, after SVP of Technology Bob Mansfield was mysteriously removed from Apple's executive leaders page, the company issued a statement officially announcing that he will be moving over to special projects and reporting directly to Tim Cook.

Mansfield, who has overseen more recent iPhone and iPad designs along with the successful MacBook Air products, will no longer be a part of Apple's executive team, according to the statement given by Apple spokesman Steve Dowling.

"Bob is no longer going to be on Apple's executive team, but will remain at Apple working on special projects reporting to Tim [Cook]." AllThingsD reports that Apple has declined to comment on the reasons behind Mansfield's restructured role, what these special projects might be and whether Apple plans to fill his position.

Last summer, the long-time Apple exec announced his retirement, only to return to the company several months later following a corporate restructuring, a restructuring that saw Mansfield receive a pay package worth about $2 million per month. At that point, Apple said that Mansfield would stay on board for two more years through 2014, as SVP of Technology in charge of the unified wireless and semiconductor teams.

More recently, he has allegedly been involved in what could be considered a "special project," with Apple's rumored wearable computing initiatives.