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First Forstall, now Christie

 
Over the past two years, there have been a few executive shakeups at Apple. The most high-profile change happened when Scott Forstall was shown the door in October 2012. Often described as a the most “Jobsian” Apple employee (and with a temper to match), Forstall had a history of friction with his co-workers including former Apple exec Tony Fadell, aka the “father of the iPod”.
 
When Fadell learned of Forstall’s ouster, he stated, “Scott got what he deserved.”
 
Forstall also reportedly clashed with Apple design guru Jony Ive. While Steve Jobs was able to keep everyone’s egos in check when he was at the helm of Apple, under the leadership of Tim Cook, Forstall and Ive couldn’t even stand to be in the same room together. In the end, Ive managed to “outwit, outplay, and outlast” Forstall and take on an expanded role as Senior Vice President of Design.


Jony Ive, Apple Senior Vice President of Design
 
Now it appears that another high-ranking Apple exec has run into the Jony Ive buzz saw. Apple Human Interface Vice President Greg Christie is leaving the company after twenty years of service.
 
Christie was responsible for the iPhone’s infamous “Slide to Unlock” feature, and led the human interface design team that redesigned Apple’s mobile operating system to bring us the love-it-or-hate-it iOS 7.


Christie pioneered "Slide to Unlock" on the iPhone
 
According to 9to5Mac, before Ive went all Bo Jackson and started meddling in both the hardware and software aspects of design, Christie was in charge of all Apple software design and reported to Craig Federighi. However, after the big shakeup in 2012 that saw Ive become even more powerful, Christie and Ive began to repeatedly butt heads.
 
According to 9to5Mac:
 
When Ive tasked Apple’s Human Interface team with redesigning iOS 7 to include an entirely new look, Christie and Ive reportedly clashed over design direction, after which Ive is said to have circumvented Christie’s leadership of the team during the new operating system’s development.
 
The news of Christie’s departure comes as somewhat a surprise. As recently as March of this year, Christie has given interviews to both the Wall Street Journal and NPR remarking about the success of the iPhone. However, following 9to5Mac’s report, Apple confirmed the departure by telling the Financial Times:
 
Greg has been planning to retire later this year after nearly 20 years at Apple. He has made vital contributions to Apple products across the board, and built a world-class Human Interface team which has worked closely with Jony for many years.
 
With Christie now completely out of the picture, Jony Ive will now have complete control over Apple software design.

Sources: 9to5Mac, Network World





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