Apple on Thursday announced that Jeff Williams has been named chief operating officer, a position that has remained vacant since Tim Cook relieved Steve Jobs of chief executive duties in 2011.

Williams joined Apple way back in 1998 as the company's head of worldwide procurement. In 2004, he was promoted to vice president of operations and since 2010, the veteran has overseen Apple's entire supply chain operations. Apple said Williams played a key role in its entry into the mobile phone market and continues to supervise development of the Apple Watch.

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, will be expanding his duties as he'll now also oversee the App Store across all platforms.

What's more, Johny Srouji will be joining the executive team as senior vice president of hardware technologies. Up to this point, he has served as vice president of the same division which handles development of batteries, application processors, storage controllers and silicon design. Srouji led the development of Apple's first custom-designed SoC, the A4.

Apple is also bringing in outside help. Tor Myhren, who has served as chief creative officer and president of Grey New York, will be joining the leadership team as vice president of marketing and communications. Myhren will be replacing Hiroki Asai who is retiring after 18 years in graphic design and marketing communications roles with Apple.

Lead image courtesy Agence France-Presse, Getty Images