Mansfield, who has led the development of a number of Apple devices including the popular MacBook Air laptop, had at one stage announced his plan to retire last year as head of hardware engineering but stayed on to lead Apple's semiconductor and wireless teams.
Mansfield is the latest addition to Chief Executive Tim Cook's "special projects" team. In July, Cook hired a former chief executive of French luxury group Yves Saint Laurent, Paul Deneve, to work on special projects.
Last October, Cook overhauled his management team, pushing out the powerful head of the company's mobile software products group.
© Thomson Reuters 2013