Mark Papermaster, Apple's senior vice president of iPhone and iPod hardware engineering and the man behind the iPhone 4's highly criticized antenna, has reportedly left the company.

While details of Papermaster's departure were scant, the executive's departure was widely reported, and Papermaster's bio has been removed from the company's website.

Apple was unavailable for comment before press time.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the situation, Papermaster had lost the confidence of Apple CEO Steve Jobs months ago and hasn't been part of the decision-making process for some time.

According to these people, Papermaster was unable to assimilate with Apple's corporate culture, where even senior executives need to be hands-on in their responsibilities.

Bob Mansfield, senior vice president for Macintosh hardware engineering, will take on Papermaster's responsibilities until a replacement can be found. Mansfield is already responsible for overseeing the iPhone 4's A4 silicon and display technologies.

Papermaster had a 25-year career with IBM before going to Apple in 2008. Once there, IBM contested Apple's hiring of Papermaster, saying it was in his contract that he had to wait a year before being hired on by an IBM competitor. A court upheld the contract, and Papermaster had to wait before assuming his post at Apple.

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