Apple has announced a rather large executive shake-up with two of their heads stepping down from their positions. In a company release, Apple said the executive management change “will encourage even more collaboration between the Company’s world-class hardware, software and services team.”
The two executives leaving, include, longtime Apple software engineer Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iOS Software, and John Browett, Apple retail chief.
Forstall, noted as being one of the main forces behind Apple’s user interface designs, will leave Apple next year and will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook in the interim. Browett, however, is said to be leaving immediately – a search for a new head of Retail is already underway.
While Apple did not state why both executives were let go, it is rumored that Browett’s cut in employee numbers and hours is a reason for his departure. In regards to Forstall, many believe his departure is due to the less than stellar reviews of his creations Siri and Apple’s Maps which led to a public apology from Cook.
According to a report from The New York Times, it is speculated that a major role in Forstall’s dismissal was over his refusal to sign the public apology over the Siri and Maps debacle. The New York Times says Forstall dismissed the problems as exaggerations, “according to people with knowledge of the situation who declined to be named discussing confidential matters.”
“I’d call this a big shakeup,” said Garner Research analyst Ken Dulaney in a Businessweek article. “And at least with Forstall, it looks like it has to do with problems with usability, which is the iPhone’s trademark. And if Apple feels they’re not at the top of their game, they’ll do what they have to do to get back on top.”
An Apple spokesperson told The New York Times that neither executive was available for an interview. In addition, Forstall did not respond to the newspapers request for an interview over email and Facebook.
In the meantime, Apple says executives Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue, and Craig Federighi will be stepping up and adding more responsibilities to their current roles. According to the release, Jony Ive will begin providing leadership and direction for Human Interface across the company in addition to his role as leader of Industrial Design.
Eddy Cue is said to take on the responsibility of Siri and Maps, placing all of Apple’s online services in one group. Cue is noted for his success with the iTunes Store, the App Store, the iBookstore, and iCloud.
Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OSX, according to the release. Meanwhile, Bob Mansfield will start to lead a new group, Technologies, which “combines all of Apple’s wireless teams across the company in one organization, fostering innovation in this area at an even higher level.”
“We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history,” said Cook. “The amazing products that we’ve introduced in September and October, iPhone 5, iOS 6, iPad mini, iPad, iMac, MacBook Pro, iPod touch, iPod nano and many of our applications, could only have been created at Apple and are the direct result of our relentless focus on tightly integrating world-class hardware, software, and services.”