As you will have read by now, Scott Forstall is leaving Apple. The consensus is that an abrasive personality coupled with the failures of Maps and Siri combined to force the former Senior Vice President of iOS out of the company. For more information on why (most likely) Scott left Apple, head on over to GDGT, the site lists many possible causes of termination. Chief among which was that after Steve Jobs died, he assumed more power than was given to him and “he wears his ambition in plainer view than the typical Apple executive.”*
I doubt we’ll hear any official response from Apple any time soon as to why they got rid of their influential head of mobile software. But, in the mean time, Tim Cook has sent out a letter to all employees of Apple detailing the management changes and thanking Forstall for his work.
In short, he wants to bring the whole company in to unity and focus on innovation in key areas, and change the focus of design. One of the most exciting things to come from this move is Jony Ive’s new role as head of Human Interfaces. In essence, he’ll still be the chief of design, but will also have responsibility for the look and feel of iOS. I’m hoping that this brings with it a radical refresh and new thinking behind how our operating system is designed. If Jony Ive is behind it, it can’t go wrong, can it?
Full letter below:
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, iOS6, 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.
Today, I am announcing changes that will encourage even more collaboration between our world-class hardware, software and services teams at all levels of our company. As part of these changes, Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue, and Craig Federighi will be taking on more responsibilities. I am also announcing that Scott Forstall will be leaving Apple next year and will serve as an advisor to me during the interim. I want to thank Scott for all of his many contributions to Apple over his career.
Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his longtime role as the leader of Industrial Design. Jony has an incredible design aesthetic and has been the driving force behind the look and feel of our products for more than a decade. The face of many of our products is our software and the extension of Jony’s skills into this area will widen the gap between Apple and our competition.
Eddy Cue will take on the additional responsibility of Siri and Maps. This places all of our online services in one group. Eddy and his organization have overseen major successes such as the iTunes Store, the App Store, the iBookstore and iCloud. They have an excellent track record of building and strengthening our online services to meet and exceed the high expectations of our customers.
Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X. We have the most advanced mobile and desktop operating systems on the planet, and bringing together our OS teams will make it even easier to deliver our best technology and user experience innovations to both platforms. Craig recently led the very successful release of Mountain Lion.
Bob Mansfield will lead a new group, Technologies, which combines all of our wireless teams across the company in one organization, allowing us to innovate in this area at an even higher level. This organization will also include all of our semiconductor teams, who have some very ambitious plans. As part of this, I am thrilled to tell you that Bob will remain with Apple for an additional two years. Bob has led some of our most challenging engineering projects for many years.
Additionally, John Browett is leaving Apple. Our search for a new head of Retail is already underway. In the meantime, the Retail team will report directly to me. Retail has an incredibly strong network of leaders at the store and regional level, and they will continue the excellent work they’ve done over the past decade to revolutionize retailing with unique, innovative services and a focus on the customer that is second to none. This phenomenal team of talented and dedicated people works their hearts out making our customers happy. They have our respect, our admiration and our undying support.
Please join me in congratulating everyone on their new roles.
I’d like to thank everyone for working so hard so that Apple can continue to make the world’s best products and delight our customers. I continue to believe that Apple has the most talented and most innovative people on the planet, and I feel privileged and inspired to be able to work with all of you.