With the dismissal of Scott Forstall – former SVP of iOS – most of the other department head changes have virtually gone unnoticed. One of the most surprising moves over the past few months was the un-resignation of Bob Mansfield. He had been the Senior Vice President of hardware engineering for 13 years before Apple announced his retirement in the summer. It wasn’t long before Apple announced again, that he was no longer retired. And, that he was set to return for an unspecified amount of time as an advisor to Tim Cook.
But then, in a surprising move – as Scott Forstall was being booted out the door – Apple revealed that Mansfield was set to stay for a further two years. Coincidence? Not likely. According to one of AllThingsD‘s sources, Bob Mansfield was not a huge fan of Forstall. He didn’t like his confrontational management style, and allegedly avoided him as often as he could. Although it wasn’t the reason for him leaving, it was one reason he had for not coming back.
“It wasn’t a him-or-me situation,” one source said of Mansfield’s return and Forstall’s ouster. “But, put it this way, I think Bob was much more willing to commit to two more years once he knew Scott was on his way out.”
Initially, Bob returned because Tim Cook made him a very good offer. Then, when Scott Forstall was forced out, he signed his new two-yeard deal.
It’s an interesting move by Apple’s chiefs, and one which I think will serve the company well for the near and long term future. Forstall was clearly an unpopular character who caused division among the ranks at Cupertino HQ. Unity is essential for any company to succeed, and by creating a more united feeling within the company from head office all the way down to retail, it leaves me feeling more excited than ever for our favorite company’s future.