What do you do when sales for your flagship product start to slow down? If you're Tim Cook, you switch tactics. 

In recent months, Apple has been shaking up its operations with high-profile hires, job changes, and departures to ward off its reliance on now-slumping iPhone sales, The Wall Street Journal reports. The Cupertino, California, smartphone maker, which also introduced lower-tiered--and less costly--smartphones for the first time last year, is now redoubling its efforts on growing revenue from services like Apple Music, app-store sales, and a widely anticipated video service. The company is reportedly spending more than $1 billion to create original shows this year featuring Hollywood royalty such as Reese Witherspoon.

On balance, services are expected to generate about $50 billion in sales by fiscal year 2020 and account for more than 60 percent of Apple's revenue growth in the next five years, according to the report.

Collectively, the changes should be instructive for small companies and entrepreneurs. They offer insight into how one of the country's biggest tech firms girds for slimmer times and repositions itself for growth.  

"This is a sign the company is trying to get the formula right for the next decade," Gene Munster, a longtime Apple analyst, told the Journal. "Technology is evolving, and they need to continue to tweak their structure to be sure they're on the right curve."

The changes include promoting John Giannandrea, who used to lead Google's artificial intelligence efforts, to Apple's executive team. He is now in charge of leading Apple's A.I. assistant, Siri, and finding new ways to use artificial intelligence technology to help consumers personalize their devices. Apple also announced its HR head, Deirdre O'Brien, will soon oversee its retail operations, which include more than 500 Apple stores. One of O'Brien's challenges will be to figure out ways to promote the company's services within its stores. One idea being floated is to install TVs to prop up Apple's original content, according to the report.

Published on: Feb 19, 2019