“Apple Inc. said mobile software head Scott Forstall and retail chief John Browett are departing as Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook embarks on a sweeping management overhaul at the world’s most valuable company,” Adam Satariano and Peter Burrows report for Bloomberg.
“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. Forstall was pushed out, according to a person with knowledge of the dismissal who asked not to be identified because the matter is private,” Satariano and Burrows report. “Forstall oversaw products such as mapping software and the Siri voice-recognition tool, which met with criticism. He also frequently clashed with other managers, people with knowledge of the matter have said.”
Satariano and Burrows report, “Forstall was responsible for the mapping software introduced last month that was widely faulted for bad directions and missing features, marring the debut of the iPhone 5. Forstall had extolled the maps’ features before its release at a software developer conference in June. Cook dismissed Forstall after he refused to sign a public letter to Apple customers apologizing for the mapping software’s flaws, according to a person briefed on the matter. Cook signed the letter instead… ‘It’s a very big move and one that was necessary to tighten up the management decision-making process,’ said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, a technology consulting firm. ‘Apple needs to work much faster as the competition heats up.’”
“‘This change makes Jony the creative integration point for both hardware and software, which was one of the most important roles that Steve played,’ said Bob Borchers, a former marketing executive at Apple who’s now a venture capitalist at Opus Capital,” Satariano and Burrows report. Forstall’s “management style also led a several senior executives to leave Apple because they found working with Forstall difficult, several former Apple employees said. The mapping missteps were a final straw, people said. ‘Forstall was effectively a component of friction in Apple’s otherwise very collaborative senior management structure,’ said Charlie Wolf, an analyst at Needham & Co.”
Read more in the full article here.
Om Malik reports for GigaOM, “Here is what my sources deep within Apple are telling me… 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.”
“While the now-rescinded resignation of Bob Mansfield was masterfully planned, my sources say that Forstall’s exit was fairly last minute and not something he initiated,” Malik reports. “There is a sense of excitement around Jony Ive taking over as head of the newly created human interface group. The reason for the excitement: hope for a new design direction for many software products. Most think Eddy Cue taking over Siri and Maps is a smart and natural thing to do.”
Malik reports, “Forstall had less-than-pleasant relationships with many senior executives, including Cue and Mansfield. My sources confirm what the Times reported earlier – Ive and Forstall had a rocky relationship.”
Read more in the full article, including why Cook will have to rethink a new, non-Jobsian “culture of schedule-driven releases” at Apple, here.
MacDailyNews Take: Tim Cook. Go, baby, go (but don’t ship anything until is worthy of the Apple brand, regardless of your preferred timeline)!
Ryan Block writes for gdgt that Forstall’s ouster “is actually probably going to be a very good thing… a very good, very healthy move on Apple’s part.”
“After Steve’s death, Forstall was known to be consolidating power among the ranks at Apple. This kind of thing never bodes well — for anyone. Blatant power grabs lead to infighting and dysfunction as senior management all of a sudden have to start watching their backs instead of collaborating on product and direction. It’s simply never healthy, and definitely never sustainable. Something has to give, and it looks like we know what,” Block reports. “Although iOS has proven to be an incredibly successful platform that started with a huge lead in the modern smartphone era, it’s been criticized as evolving far too slowly in the face of the competition.”
“Relevant, but perhaps not directly Forstall’s fault: he was supposedly the guy who convinced Steve to let some iPhone 4 units run around in the wild during late testing. And we all know what happened there,” Block reports. “Scott was the man in charge of Siri. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to say much more on that matter. Scott was also in charge of the new Maps product, one of Apple’s most visible (if not monumental) failures of a flagship product in quite some time. SOMEONE’s head was going to roll, it was just a matter of whose. (The last time Apple had something blow up this badly in its face — iPhone 4′s Antennagate — iPhone hardware executive Mark Papermaster was unceremoniously fired.)”
Read more in the full article here.
Apple CEO Tim Cook executes major management shake-up at world’s most valuable company – October 30, 2012
Tim Cook takes full control of Apple: John Browett and Scott Forstall out; Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi get expanded responsibilities – October 29, 2012
Apple software designers sick of doing things Scott Forstall’s way; ‘civil war’ said breaking out – October 10, 2012
Tim Cook open letter: We fell short with new Maps app; we are extremely sorry – September 28, 2012
Apple newbie John Browett brings Dixons to Apple Retail Stores – August 17, 2012
An Apple CEO-in-waiting, Scott Forstall, sells 95% of his company shares – May 2, 2012