updated 11:00 pm EDT, Fri November 4, 2011
Botched investigation said to be the root cause
Following up on a story from yesterday, AllThingsD has independently confirmed that former Apple vice-president of global security John Theriault is in fact no longer with the company, and says that the official explanation it received is that Theriault is retiring. The timing of the departure, however, suggests that the bungled investigation into the lost iPhone 4S prototype still played a significant role in the decision by Theriault to leave Apple.
Theriault, who has been with Apple for over four years, is a former FBI agent who previously served as head of security for Pfizer, and lead Apple's anti-counterfeiting team which mostly battled Chinese knock-off makers. He reported directly to Senior Vice President and General Counsel Bruce Sewell.
The mishandling of the iPhone 4S investigation consisted of a series of odd events, from the erasing of surveillance footage that would have established when the prototype was left behind and who obtained it to a botched raid on a residence using Find My iPhone which failed to turn up the device and appears to have improperly involved San Francisco police officers assisting Apple's own security team. The suspect in the investigation, Sergio Calderon, is considering legal action as he claims he was not aware that the police simply accompanied Apple security people and that he would not have consented to a search of his home if he had been aware.
There have been intimations by Calderon's lawyer that the police may have deliberately misled Calderon into believing the Apple security team was part of the police force. The department is investigating how it handled the incident, following claims from the SFPD early on that it was unaware of any raid, then later that they did give permission to Apple to conduct the search, implying that the company received special favors. [via AllThingsD]