Apple is said to be shopping for senior industry execs with cloud experience as it faces up to the possibility that consumers might not want their content tied solely to its hardware platforms.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has been stalking top execs with Web-based software backgrounds, targeting one entrepreneur and even bringing in recruitment agencies.
The firm was not recruiting for specific roles, the paper added, but was "looking broadly for talent to fill director-level positions and above, including senior executives if they find a candidate that is a good fit".
Apple killed its lame duck MobileMe service earlier this year to make way for its more obviously cloudy iCloud service.
Cupertino has been stocking up on cloud specialists through the year, with a string of engineering posts targeted at iCloud in particular or the cloud in general appearing on its jobs pages. However, things have clearly stepped up in recent months, with a succession of cloud related jobs being advertised last month.
Its targeting of senior execs after the fact might suggest Apple's still not sure it got its iCloud launch right. Or alternatively, it indicates that its ambitions for the cloud extend even further than it has yet revealed.
The Journal digs up a quote from Steve Jobs in June, when he said devices would be demoted: "We are going to move the digital hub, the centre of your digital life, into the cloud."
And while some might be puzzled that Apple is looking outside for talent, they're clearly forgetting that the likes of Apple boss Tim Cook and Apple Store builder-in-chief Ron Johnson were both external hires.
A more recent external hire, ex-Big Bluer Mark Papermaster was less successful. His stint at Apple was marred by ongoing legal wrangles with his former employer, and he left the firm shortly after the iPhone 4 debacle to join Cisco, before becoming CTO at AMD. ®