October 30, 2012
Tim Cook Gets Tough On iOS 6 Maps, Fires Scott Forstall
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Apple´s latest “little” press event was not without its surprises. The new iMacs caught many by surprise, as did a newly revised iPad, just 7 months after the 3rd generation was announced. Yet, for all the surprises held within Apple´s last event of the year, there was one rather peculiar element: The entire event was hosted by Tim Cook and Phil Schiller, with nary a mention to Scott Forstall.
For anyone who´s seen any Apple event during the past few years, Forstall usually gets the nod to explain iOS specific advancements and features. During the September iPhone 5 and music event, for example, Forstall was given the duty of highlighting the new Apple Maps in iOS 6. As it turns out, it would be the last time he ever graced the stage to highlight Apple software.
Maps turned out to be quite the fiasco, one that Tim Cook issued an apology for and even recommended competitors´ products to those who were unhappy with Maps.
Apple quietly issued a press release in the wake of a Google Nexus announcement and early reviews of Microsoft´s Surface tablet announcing a reorganizing of their executive staff. While Eddy Cue, Craig Federighi, Sir Jony Ive and Bob Mansfield are all taking on additional responsibilities as a part of this executive shakeup, Forstall will be leaving Apple next year and, until he finally leaves the office, will be serving as an “advisor” to Tim Cook.
According to a piece by the Wall Street Journal, this advisory position may be something akin to wearing a corporate dunce cap, as Cook has become quite upset with Forstall over the Maps debacle.
The Wall Street Journal sheds some light on what´s been going on behind the scenes in Apple´s campus since Steve´s death, and apparently, Forstall has been a major sticking point for some members of the executive team.
Then, when iOS 6 was released and the world began to pan its new Maps app, Forstall reportedly refused to sign his name to Cook´s apology, sending Cook to ask him to step down from his position at Apple.
According to some insiders at Apple, many had become quite frustrated with Forstall over the years, saying he was unwilling to cooperate within the team as well as a little too sure of himself and his close relationship with Jobs. With Jobs gone, Forstall may have lost some of his protection, and even told some people recently that there was no longer a “decider” at Apple.
The Journal also mentions Forstall had recently sent out an email to his team, saying he felt they weren´t working hard enough on big ideas for the iOS software.
A Gigaom report mentions that Forstall had even found himself at odds with Sir Ive, so much so that Apple´s designer would refuse to attend meetings with him.
In addition to overseeing the release of Siri, a product which has also seen its fair share of criticism and remains in beta more than one year after its release, Forstall was also said to be a supporter of Apple´s Skeumorphic design choices. While Jobs reportedly favored the heavy leather and stitching graphics in Apple software, Forstall found himself at odds with many others, specifically Ive, regarding these choices.
John Browett, Apple´s head of retail, will also be leaving the company as a part of this reorganization. Apple retail has been the source of some controversy this year as the New York Times and other news sources began to investigate what appeared to be huge layoffs in Apple retail staffing.
Apple later issued an apology to their retail teams, (One which Browett signed) saying the company was tinkering with their staffing formula and has since restored staffing to where it once was. Apple is still looking for a head of retail and until they can find one, retail teams will report directly to Cook.