He returned to Apple in 2009 and led Mac OS X engineering. On March 23, 2011, Federighi succeeded Bertrand Serlet as vice president of Mac Software Engineering at Apple, and on August 27, 2012 he was promoted to senior vice president. On October 29, 2012, upon the announcement of Scott Forstall's departure from Apple, his role was expanded to encompass iOS in addition to Mac Software Engineering.
He was a driving force behind the major 2013 release of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 7. His presentation of OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 at WWDC 2013, Apple's annual developers conference, received highly positive attendee and press attention.