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Scott Forstall on stage with the late Steve Jobs
Apple is on the lookout for a new senior vice president of Retail, and will divide Forstall's responsibilities among other Apple execs

Apple revealed today that two key company executives will be leaving in the near future: Scott Forstall and John Browett. 
 
Forstall, the vice president of iOS software, will be leaving Apple next year after working with the company for about 15 years. He recently headed the launch of Apple's new maps application, which turned out to be a nightmare. Apple ditched Google Maps as its main iOS maps app in favor of its own in-house maps service, but when it launched, there were huge issues with the geography and navigation
 
Despite the maps mess, Forstall's upcoming departure still comes as a shock. When former Apple CEO Steve Jobs died, Forstall was considered the most "Jobsian" Apple employee to take his place. He was a Jobs protégé, from the enthusiastic personality to the same wardrobe to the same exact model car. However, Tim Cook got the job. 
 

Scott Forstall
 
Browett, head of Apple retail, will be leaving Apple as well. This seems a little less surprising, considering Browett led a retail hiring formula earlier this year that ended up being a huge mistake. This new formula caused Apple to lay off several new retail hires (some that only recently finished their training) and significantly cut the hours of part-timers back in August. Needless to say, this didn't make employees very happy, and Apple was forced to admit that it messed up
 
Browett joined the Apple team in April 2012. He came from UK-based Dixons Retail electronics stores, where many would argue that he didn't do a very good job there either. 
 
Apple said it's on the lookout for a new senior vice president of Apple Retail. As for Forstall, the tech giant has decided to divide his responsibilities among other Apple execs instead of bringing in any newcomers. 
 

John Browett [Image Source: The Telegraph]
 
Jony Ive, Apple's head of Industrial Design, will take over Human Interface (HI) for the company while Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, will take on Siri, Maps, the iTunes Store, the App Store, iCloud and the iBookstore. Furthermore, Bob Mansfield (who was supposed to be retiring), Apple's senior vice president of Mac and Devices Hardware Engineering, will lead a new group called "Technologies" for all of Apple's wireless teams while Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Mac Software Engineering, will take over iOS and OS X. 
 
Of course, Apple had to insert how well it's doing to offset the mistakes its higher-ups made this year:
 
"We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple's history," said Tim Cook, Apple CEO. "The amazing products that we've introduced in September and October, iPhone 5iOS 6iPad 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." 

Source: Apple



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Wannabe
By Trisped on 10/30/2012 11:42:20 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
When former Apple CEO Steve Jobs died, Forstall was considered the most "Jobsian" Apple employee to take his place. He was a Jobs protégé, from the enthusiastic personality to the same wardrobe to the same exact model car. However, Tim Cook got the job.
Anyone who would release the crappy map service he did is not sufficiently "Jobsian" to run a company. Jobs was very strict on maintaining the image of quality. Releasing the maps in the state that he did proves either he is a hack/wannabe, or he has checked out. I am going with wannabe.




RE: Wannabe
By zephyrprime on 10/30/2012 12:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
I don't really blame whoever was in charge of the maps app for screwing it up. It's clear that Apple rushed maps to market knowing that it was riddled with bad data. They did it because they had a business reason to spite Google, their #1 competitor in the phone market. Apple acted imprudently but that was the ceo's decision, not Forstall's (probably).


RE: Wannabe
By nangryo on 10/30/2012 12:31:16 PM , Rating: 2
Did you know that it is only with Tim Cook permission that iphone could be released, even on that stated with imperfect apple maps.

So just blaming one person sound fish to me. There is something big intern there that we doesn't know or may never know


RE: Wannabe
By retrospooty on 10/30/2012 12:54:51 PM , Rating: 2
meh... Companies always have a "public" answer that they put out when people of this level leave. It's all PR and means nothing.

Chalk it up to 1 of 2 things... Either Apple just wasn't happy with hime and wanted to make a change or he decided to leave on his own for another opportunity (or whatever personal reason). Neither of which is really a negative thing. People come and go.


RE: Wannabe
By Tony Swash on 10/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: Wannabe
By simsony on 10/30/2012 4:37:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The issue of the timing of the switch away from Google maps was also time constrained, it had to fit into a major iOS version upgrade because it was such a system wide function and given the timing of the end of the original Google mapping agreement that meant it had to be part of the iOS 6 release.


This does not make sense. Apple is in complete control of its versioning and could have very happily released Apple maps in 6.5 when it was mature or in iOS7. Previous iOS revisions have had changes to the API. Moreover the APIs are backwards compatible, even with iOS6.

If necessary, they could have purchased TomTom or Garmin to get a clear head start. Focussing on the quality not the marketing aspect.

They were not time constrained in anyway. Google strategy also proved otherwise with a possible Google maps app coming.

With previous changes (System 9 to MacOSX, PowerPC to Intel) , transitional arrangements were made (eg Rosetta - they acquired a company for this), and moreover existing product support was continued. No One felt any loss of functionality, they only had trouble moving on with new functionality.

The Apple maps situation is different. The transition to Apple Maps is an immediate step backwards in functionality for the end user. A downgrade is not permitted, and customer support is not valid for older versions, you are expected to upgrade. There is no supported option to keep the functionality enjoyed before.

And please don't tell me Google Maps webapp, it is not the same and everyone who has used the old maps and the web app fricking knows it. It is a fanboy excuse, and as soon as I see it I know I am dealing with a disciple of the Church of Apple.


RE: Wannabe
By dark matter on 10/30/2012 5:08:39 PM , Rating: 2
It's Tony Swash.

Nothing he says makes sense. It's just noise.


RE: Wannabe
By Darnell021 on 11/13/2012 12:47:17 PM , Rating: 2
WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL APPLE THEY COULD'VE PURCHASED TOMTOM OR GARMIN YEARS AGO!?!? What a gigantic oversight, right!? If some random guy on a tech forum knew TomTom and Garmin were trying to sell their companies then why didn't Apple know!? You have raised some really good points!

Hopefully someone from Apple is reading this right now, I heard there is a job opening up in that very department soon! You sound like you have some wicked good insight into how Apple should run it's business!

Seriously though, no one is saying Apple MAPS isn't a giant flop, even Forstall got the boot. Apple has acquired at least 3 Mapping companies already since 2009, but there goal wasn't to re-badge an app; that wouldn't have been a profitable thing to do(Siri, obviously being the glaring exception to that rule). Google has had almost 10 years of grooming on it's MAPS application, Apple has had maybe a year and half if you count the development process and not just it's release date this past summer. Wait for MAPS 2.0 before you really start giving Apple sh*t for this. With something that needs to be accurate for each individual person in the United States, expect there to be alot of discrepancies in the data.

Tony Swash got it right when he said Forstall should've buttered this app in it's public release and not sit there telling the world it's the new perfection. How smooth a transition was Final Cut Pro X? At least with MAPS you can download alot of alternatives.

Trying to release new services on a worldwide scale into markets that already have mature products are always going to have lots of issues. Apple is learning the hard way they aren't special.


RE: Wannabe
By Trisped on 10/30/2012 5:39:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Apple had to dump Google maps. Google wouldn't add a turn-by-turn feature
This is of course, incorrect. Google multiple times stated (publicly) that they would add turn-by-turn and other features to their maps, but Apple would not provide them access to the necessary hardware to do so (probably full read access to the GPS).

It should also be noted that the Google Maps released with the original iPhone has seen very little change over the years. The fact is that Apple wanted to make Google look like the bad guy so when they replaced Google Maps with their version everyone would say "Yes, this is definitely better then my old map app."

Apple could have kept Google Maps as long as it wanted. It also could have taken a fully baked, existing system (from TomTom, Garmin, or anyone else with a working solution) and replaced it. It did not have to pull Google Maps and stick in its own, inferior, product.

Apple (under Jobs) never truly apologized. While they did release press statements which indicated a problem had been found and fixed, or provide alternate ways of using a product to avoid its flaws (your holding it wrong and the free cases) they never truly (to my knowledge) release a statement to the effect of "We screwed up, we are sorry". There was a case when a feature (do not remember which) was so screwed up that jobs called in the department which was working on it, asked them (probably yelled) what it was suppose to do, then why it did not do that. All the leadership for that project was fired. It did not matter if they would have said sorry, Jobs would not have let them.


RE: Wannabe
By Trisped on 10/30/2012 5:44:38 PM , Rating: 2
Apple is a very structured and strict company. It is how they prevent information leaks, keep device security high, and maintain their quality control.

That being said, it is not Tim Cook's job to check every single thing on every single product he releases. He has a company to run.

The last time an issue like this occured Jobs called in the leadership responsable, asked them what it was suppose to do, then asked why it did not do that (the exact quotes made it clear he was really mad). They were fired shortly there after.

In short, Forstall's termination was imminent.


Coincidental with all the Windows releases?
By Smilin on 10/30/2012 9:36:01 AM , Rating: 2
So Microsoft sinks some 8billion a year in R&D including tons in NUI and human interaction in general. The stuff you find on WP, XBox, and Windows are the newest ideas but are years old to Microsoft. R&D chugs on.

Meanwhile Google is trying new things (not as earth shattering perhaps but definately new) and have some clearly awesome things in the pipe with their glasses.

Yet here is Apple. They applied pinch and zoom and a Windows 3.1 interface to the iPhone years back. Ever since then they have just made larger and smaller versions of the same, each time using manufacturing innovation from foxconn. Now they treat cloth and wood skins as user interface innovation.

So they turn around and fire their top iOS and UI guy. Perhaps Tim Cook isn't too stupid to see the writing on the wall.

But man I miss Jobs.




RE: Coincidental with all the Windows releases?
By rubbahbandman on 10/30/2012 12:18:28 PM , Rating: 2
I think you hit the nail on the head here. Win8 has left ios in the dust. Fortunately for apple they have the ironclad appstore to hang in there, but to me the next 2 years are absolutely critical from a software front. If they don't get with the program even the masses will see they have been surpassed and are offering an inferior experience. (I have an iphone 5, but I wish it ran win8).


RE: Coincidental with all the Windows releases?
By Tony Swash on 10/30/12, Rating: 0
By momorere on 10/30/2012 2:05:12 PM , Rating: 3
Meanwhile in the real world...

crApple fanatics are finally getting tired of all the "upgrade" shenanigans that your company is pulling.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/iPad-4-Consumers-...

Also in the real world...

crApple expects EVERY customer to bend over and take it while bowing down to them instead of using much more efficient and methods of using media,

http://crave.cnet.co.uk/homecinema/apple-bans-blu-...


By Smilin on 10/30/2012 3:01:57 PM , Rating: 2
Tony I am going to quote you on that.


By dark matter on 10/30/2012 5:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
Then rejoice fool, rejoice in all it's splendor.

You know before the Internet arrived, your type used to found on street corners.

Rambling nonsense there.


The truth is out there...
By nangryo on 10/30/2012 5:07:04 AM , Rating: 3
There's a rumor about the true reason about forstall resignation. It's because he refuse to sign apology letter regarding flaws in apple maps on his latest ios 6, and he choose to resign instead.




RE: The truth is out there...
By nangryo on 10/30/2012 6:07:00 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, and to adds up. Apple has announce that Forstall will be replaced by Craig Federighi in 2013. Federighi will oversee both the iOS and OS X groups under one umbrella. But until that, as stated in article before, Forstall duties will be distributed among all other execs.


By TakinYourPoints on 10/30/2012 10:23:53 AM , Rating: 2
I'm a-ok with that. Forstall may have been the driving force behind putting OS X into the iPhone rather than a limited embedded OS like what was in the iPod, but he was also the driving force behind skeuomorphism in iOS, and thus OS X. Jony Ive hates the visual metaphor that has popped up in certain apps, which is great. Under him the OS should go back to the sleek consistency that it used to have.


The rats are leaving...
By inperfectdarkness on 10/30/2012 6:15:33 AM , Rating: 2
...that is all.




RE: The rats are leaving...
By Tony Swash on 10/30/2012 1:53:31 PM , Rating: 1
Apple are dooooomed!!!

Again.


Ouch
By Tony Swash on 10/30/2012 1:29:50 PM , Rating: 1
Here is the complete reference to the departure of John Browett in Tim Cook's email to Apple staff.

quote:
Additionally, John Browett is leaving Apple


At least Scott Forstall got a thank you.

I guess John really, really didn't fit in :)




Is it me?
By LordSojar on 10/29/12, Rating: -1
RE: Is it me?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/29/2012 7:21:21 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, I don't think that he has the DB gene. He just looks pretty nerdy IMHO.

However, there's one person that I immediately associate with the term based on looks alone: [Young] James Spader (mainly because of his roles in 80s movies).


RE: Is it me?
By Samus on 10/29/2012 11:42:25 PM , Rating: 1
Scott is a complete asshole. I remember reading a blog of an Apple employee that wrote about his recent run-in with Scott Forstall, and I quote "I mentioned to him that this method could improve the user experience," and Scott said "Now you know Steve wouldn't like that."

I mean, wow. Steve wouldn't like that? Who gives a f#%@ what Steve thinks, he dead.


RE: Is it me?
By Reclaimer77 on 10/29/2012 7:46:44 PM , Rating: 1
Ah that must be why seeing his picture caused me to smash my fist through the monitor?


RE: Is it me?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/29/2012 7:51:13 PM , Rating: 3
I thought it was because he reminded you of Rachel Maddow ;)


RE: Is it me?
By GulWestfale on 10/29/2012 7:55:14 PM , Rating: 2
i think he looks like a slightly older douche brother to the douche from 'scrubs'.


RE: Is it me?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/29/2012 8:05:41 PM , Rating: 2
Oh man, I see it!! Nice catch.


RE: Is it me?
By GulWestfale on 10/29/2012 8:09:43 PM , Rating: 4
and the other one resembles dr cox... weird.


RE: Is it me?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/29/2012 8:13:57 PM , Rating: 2
"Why don't you shu-ah-ut your pie hole Mary Alice; I'm not your mentor. And wipe that stupid smile off your face, no one cares that you nailed Blondie's honeypot last night."


RE: Is it me?
By kattanna on 10/30/2012 10:30:31 AM , Rating: 2
LOL i enjoyed that series..for the most part. great stuff

he was also great as one of the "bobs" from office space..

they filmed that series in an actual hospital..that is no longer there.. is being built into condos now


RE: Is it me?
By DJ Brandon on 10/30/2012 1:13:01 AM , Rating: 1
Couldn't agree anymore. Anyone that wears the SAME wardrobe and drives the same car as their boss is clearly a tool I am surprised steve jobs put up with that. Copy much? Guaruntee he is not only a DB, a tool, but as well probably a computer P... lol... but hey that's just what i think.


Nice
By Tony Swash on 10/29/12, Rating: -1
RE: Nice
By momorere on 10/29/12, Rating: 0
RE: Nice
By Reclaimer77 on 10/29/2012 9:55:04 PM , Rating: 2
lol what a narcissistic family of douchebags just like their old man. They actually gave them iPod Shuffles as a "thank you" for building a custom zillion dollar yacht?


RE: Nice
By MadMan007 on 10/30/2012 12:43:13 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
...famed minimalist designer Philippe Starck...


You can't make this stuff up.


RE: Nice
By TakinYourPoints on 10/30/2012 3:58:02 AM , Rating: 2
He's pretty famous. He even designed products for Target and Microsoft


RE: Nice
By wickyman on 10/30/2012 2:30:44 AM , Rating: 1
Wow, really Reclaimer77? these people have been paid for the last 4 years or so to do a job. These are some of the finest designers, engineers, and craftsmen/women in their industry and are paid very well for their services. They are entitled to nothing more than to be paid for services rendered, YOU are the narcissist if you think otherwise.

The gift of the shuffles was an act of kindness, on top of the hundreds of millions of dollars the Jobs family have paid over the years for this project. And that is besides the point when often times companies have a policy that employees may not even accept gifts from clients, or none over a certain value. If that is the case, then their livelihood could be at stake over a simple tablet or smartphone.

Please stop with the entitlement BS because it is what leads to a weak and greedy society. You are paid to do your job and shouldnt have to be thanked, patted on the head, and given gifts every time you finish the job for which you are being paid.

And I don't suppose could you recall what Bill Gates gifted those who built his 200 ft yacht? What about Paul Allen? What about Google's own Larry Page? His 193 footer was designed by the exact same people, I wonder how many Android devices and Google stock options he handed out? Or is it only a problem because a member of the Jobs family was involved?


RE: Nice
By Touche on 10/30/2012 5:04:06 AM , Rating: 3
Really? Really?!?! You really just compared one of the world's greatest philantropists that gave billions to someone who gave out a couple of iPods?! You, sir, take the DBotY award!


RE: Nice
By retrospooty on 10/30/2012 9:19:27 AM , Rating: 3
low end ipods... Not even the mid range ones LOL.


RE: Nice
By Reclaimer77 on 10/30/2012 10:03:52 AM , Rating: 2
That's what I'm saying. I mean it's bad enough giving out Apple gear, that's just tasteless imo and not classy, but it's not even the good stuff!

I guess the CEO of Dunkin' Doughnuts gives out crullers to his yacht makers?? Maybe throw in some coffee if he's feeling REAL generous! Just...lol


RE: Nice
By Tony Swash on 10/30/2012 6:33:43 AM , Rating: 2
Amazon keeps the number of Kindle Fire HD's sold a secret. Secret sales figures almost always means nothing to boast about. It's always telling when a company doesn't release actual sales figures. Apple does for all it's products, Amazon doesn't for the Kindle, neither does Google for the Nexus, or Microsoft for Windows Phone (let's wait and see if they do for the Surface).

Of course one way to judge the success of a business strategy, in this case selling tablets at cost, is to look at the bottom line. Amazon's last quarter was a $28 million loss on revenues of $13.8 billion. Apple's last quarter was a $8.2 billion profit on revenues of $36 billion. Gosh - I wonder whose business plan make more sense?


RE: Nice
By sprockkets on 10/30/2012 10:22:45 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that's why apple also releases their sales figures of apple tv and the ipod touch.

Oh wait...


RE: Nice
By KoolAidMan1 on 10/30/2012 11:20:54 AM , Rating: 2
They do. AppleTV sold 5 million units so far this year. Total iPod Touch sales are about 50 million.

There's a thing called an internet search engine


RE: Nice
By Gio6518 on 10/30/2012 1:31:37 AM , Rating: 2
You gonna apply Tony...... Your just as good at talking shit, spreading lies as any of them..... Just because it doesn't work on tech sites where people actually understand technology, you'd probably do really well with the typical technologically illiterate customer that crApple attracts


RE: Nice
By Tony Swash on 10/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: Nice
By damianrobertjones on 10/30/2012 7:47:52 AM , Rating: 1
Maps?

I can see the conversation going like this:
Apple, "hey Google, the licence is nearly up, want to make money?"
Google, "Tell me more..."
Apple, "We'll remove your maps ahead of time and replace with our own early build of maps... which will suck, initially"
Google, "Ok, how do I make money?"
Apple, "You'll make money because everyone will buy your updated maps from the store and we'll grab our cut!"

Apple, Google, "Cha-ching!"


RE: Nice
By Dr of crap on 10/30/2012 8:14:43 AM , Rating: 1
Seems ODD to me that you even KNOW the workers a company that you buy stuff from.
I couldn't tell you ANY exec at Target, yet I buy stuff there a lot!

Stocking much!

Or just want to smell their feet!!!


RE: Nice
By simsony on 10/30/2012 10:50:05 AM , Rating: 2
Of course you can make all the excuses and say what went wrong after the fact. Anyone can do that. But successful companies cannot make such mistakes. They cannot even afford to let it happen.

What I don't get is that Forstall was supposed to be "Jobsian" and the guy who made it all work before. But then comes Sorry Siri and Lost Maps.

He is after all an Apple veteran, with the most experience and the best understanding of what makes (or made?) Apple tick.

If he can't deal with the challenges, well that's a big problem? If his Apple experience was not enough, whose will be? Did he really need Jobs around to function? How many in the company need that?

Has Ive ever done actual UI design (as in software), I thought he was just the industrial design guy.

Such senior exits of veteran management is always a bad sign. Something is up in Apple kingdom. It does not look quite happily ever after.


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