SAN FRANCISCO—The heads of Apple Inc.'s retail stores and the company's iOS operating system are both leaving the company in a structural shake up announced Monday (Oct. 29).
Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iOS, will leave the company next year, Apple (Cupertino, Calif.) said. Between now and then, Forstall will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook, the company said.
John Browett, who joined Apple in January as senior vice president of retail, was also shown the door. Apple said it had begun a search for a new head of its retail organization.
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The moves come just days after Apple turned in a fiscal fourth quarter financial report that came up short of consensus analysts' expectations and a few weeks after Apple was forced to apologize for the quality of a new Maps application.
As part of the structural shakeup, Apple promoted four other executives in an attempt to increase collaboration between the company's hardware, software and services groups, Apple said.
Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, is charged with responsibility for both iOS and OS X—a series of Unix-based GUI operating systems codenamed Mountain Lion. Apple said this move would bring together the OS teams to make it even easier to deliver the best technology and user experience innovations to both platforms. Federighi was just promoted to the senior vice president level in August.
Apple said Senior Vice President Bob Mansfield would lead a new group, Technologies, which combines all of the wireless teams across Apple in one organization. This organization will also include the semiconductor teams, Apple said. The firm added that the semiconductor teams "have ambitious plans for the future."
Jony Ive, Apple's industrial design guru credited with the design asthetics on the iMac, iPod and iPhone, was named head of Human Interface across Apple in addition to his industrial design role.
Apple also charged Eddy Cue, senior vice president of internet software and services, with the additional responsibility of Apple's Siri and Maps features. Cook was forced to issue a letter of apology last month after consumers complained that its new Maps app was inaccurate and subpar.
A round of "Apple is doomed!" opinions. If there's one positive sign, it's that executives took what they may believe is corrective action regarding Browett (grumblings from retail staff) and Forstall (iOS stumbles).
Regarding "barely upgraded iPad4", if you believe benchmark data, here is one of several sources showing it clearly outperforms the previous iPad:
The whole maps debacle seemed to be the beginning of the end of the "untouchable" Apple era... and the iPad mini and barely upgraded iPad4 just compounded that notion for me. Apple is going to have to learn to compete with its "equals".
Agree 100%. The mention of the ambitious plans for the semiconductor groups seems like an important foreshadowing. I, too, wonder if Apple has jumped the shark--the company has several beloved product lines, but Samsung and others are starting to eat Apple's lunch with tablets and smartphones that are significantly lower priced. The word on the street is that Forstall refused to apologize for the Maps application, and that that led to his downfall.
This is a big shake up given many saw Forstall as a potential successor to Cook and Jobs.
I can't help but wonder if Apple is at its peak and will not be able to sustain its torrid growth unless it changes its business model in some radical way, adopting a wide product portfolio.
And I am intrigued by the tease about the company's "ambitious semiconductor plans."
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