Apple today announced the departure of Scott Forstall and John Browett as part of a management shakeup designed to break down silos between hardware, software and services in order to avoid future embarrassments like its Maps application.
Forstall, who as senior vice president of Apple’s iOS was ultimately in charge of Maps, has had his position eliminated. His responsibilities are now divided among Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi.
According to the news release, Forstall (pictured) will serve as an advisor to Apple CEO Tim Cook until his formal departure in 2013.
Retail senior vice president Browett is departing effective immediately, and Cook will oversee all retail operations until a replacement is secured. Media reports note that Browett had initiated the company’s quickly reversed move to cut staffing in Apple stores.
Ive will add leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across all Apple products, in addition to his existing responsibilities as senior vice president, Industrial Design. Media reports assert that Ive disagreed with Forstall over making products visually echo real-world counterparts, like how Apple’s iBooks is designed to look like a physical bookcase.
Siri and Maps are added to Cue’s responsibilities as senior vice president, Internet Software and Services. This brings them together with other online services like the iTunes Store, the App Store, the iBookstore and iCloud.
Senior vice president, Software Engineering, Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X, making both the desktop and mobile operating systems his responsibility.
Finally, Apple has created a new group called Technologies and has named Bob Mansfield to lead it. This organization includes all of Apple’s wireless and semiconductor teams.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, issued the following statement: “We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history. 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.”
Apple – press release
Daring Fireball – Forstall Out; Ive Up
New York Times – In Shake-Up, Apple’s Mobile Software and Retail Chiefs to Depart
Los Angeles Times – Apple ousts Scott Forstall, executive in charge of Maps and Siri
Photo of Scott Forstall by Flickr user paz.ca, used under Creative Commons license