Senior Vice President of iOS Scott Forstall, the man who many blamed for the Apple Maps debacle, is leaving the company, Apple has announced. Apple has no word on what he will do next, saying that he will act as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook until he leaves. Forstall headed up the team that developed both Siri and Maps. When he initially introduced the Google replacement he didn't mention any of its limitations, which riled critics who later discovered its many shortcomings. [Forstall's] demo was flawless, 2D and 3D maps, turn-by-turn navigation, spectacular flyovers… but not a word from the stage about the app's limitations, no self-deprecating wink, no admission that iOS Maps is an infant that needs to learn to crawl before walking," one analyst told Fortune's Philip Elmer DeWitt. The company didn't attribute his departure to the navigation software snafu or Siri, leaving things rather vague in the note. But his departure is a little unexpected otherwise. He was called Apple's "sorcerer's apprentice" by Businessweek's Adam Satariano, Peter Burrows, and Brad Stone, who described him as a lot like Steve Jobs. It was also rumored he had his eye on Cook's spot, wrote Adam Lashinsky in his book Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired--and Secretive--Company Really Works.
Forstall's departure comes as part of a larger reorganization at the company, with head of retail John Browett leaving the company, too. Here's the full announcement via The Verge.
CUPERTINO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apple® today announced executive management changes that will encourage even more collaboration between the Company's world-class hardware, software and services teams. As part of these changes, Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi will add more responsibilities to their roles. Apple also announced that Scott Forstall will be leaving Apple next year and will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook in the interim.
"We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple's history," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "The amazing products that we've introduced in September and October, iPhone 5, iOS 6, 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."
Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design. His incredible design aesthetic has been the driving force behind the look and feel of Apple's products for more than a decade.
Eddy Cue will take on the additional responsibility of Siri® and Maps, placing all of our online services in one group. This organization has overseen major successes such as the iTunes Store®, the App Store℠, the iBookstore℠ and iCloud®. This group has an excellent track record of building and strengthening Apple's online services to meet and exceed the high expectations of our customers.
Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X®. Apple has the most advanced mobile and desktop operating systems, and this move brings together the OS teams to make it even easier to deliver the best technology and user experience innovations to both platforms.
Bob Mansfield will lead a new group, Technologies, which combines all of Apple's wireless teams across the company in one organization, fostering innovation in this area at an even higher level. This organization will also include the semiconductor teams, who have ambitious plans for the future.
Additionally, John Browett is leaving Apple. A search for a new head of Retail is underway and in the interim, the Retail team will report directly to Tim Cook. Apple's Retail organization has an incredibly strong network of leaders at the store and regional level who will continue the excellent work that has been done over the past decade to revolutionize retailing with unique, innovative services for customers.