On Monday, Apple announced some major changes to the upper echelons of its executive ranks. Scott Forstall, who led iOS efforts, and John Browett, who led the Apple’s retail division, will leave the company. Hardware design guru Jony Ive will now head up interface design, and Eddie Cue will tackle maps and Siri.
The Wall Street Journal’s Jessica E. Lessin reported, “Apple Inc. executive Scott Forstall was asked to leave the company after he refused to sign his name to a letter apologizing for shortcomings in Apple’s new mapping service, according to people familiar with the matter. The incident was the latest clash between Mr. Forstall, who oversaw Apple’s mobile software unit, and other executives at the company. It led to one of the most significant management shake-ups in Apple’s recent history and its most sweeping changes under Chief Executive Tim Cook.”
According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Adam Satariano and Peter Burrows, “Forstall will leave next year and serve as an adviser to Cook until then, Cupertino, California-based Apple said yesterday in a statement. Executives Jony Ive, Eddy Cue, Bob Mansfield and Craig Federighi will take on added management responsibilities, the company said.” Satariano and Burrows added, “The management changes leave Ive, who already heads industrial design, with more authority over the vision and details of Apple’s products. He takes on responsibility for so- called human interface, the software that governs how customers interact with Apple devices. Before he died last year, Jobs controlled the experience, melding input from disparate teams. In the new structure, Ive takes on that role.”
Om Malik of GigaOm wrote, “Forstall’s firing was met with a sense of quiet jubilation, especially among people who worked in the engineering groups. Or as one of my sources quipped: there are a lot of people going for celebratory drinks, even if there is a little bit of doubt about their roles in the future.”
Information Week’s Eric Zeman noted, “Apple’s retail head, John Browett, has been shown the door. He joined the company earlier this year and was expected to help take Apple Stores to the next level … only he hasn’t. Given his brief tenure with the company, it’s apparent that CEO Cook was looking to fix a mistake.”