Scott Forstall and John Browett Leaving Apple [Updated]

Looks like today is big shakeup day at Apple. Scott Forstall (head of iOS) and John Browett (head of Retail) are both leaving Apple with Jony Ive, Eddy Cue, Craig Federighi, and Bob Mansfield taking new roles—and new divisions—within the company.

Updates:

From 9to5Mac, Techcrunch, and more from BI (linked below), it sounds like John Browett might have run afoul with management on how to rule the (lucrative) Apple Stores. While new stores (like Palto Alto) have been launching and still look great—maybe cutting back on hours and trying to squeeze more out of the stores wasn’t a good plan. Forstall’s departure might be the first salvo of a post-Jobs changing of the guard. Maybe Steve could keep all the egos in check and people trying to play nice, but…I guess those times are over. Certainly the debacle with Siri and Maps couldn’t have helped Forstall. As for how the rest of the executive are going to move around, 9to5Mac points out that Bob Mansfield was slated to retire in a year, but has agreed to stay at Apple for two (to lead the Technologies Group).

Probably one of the biggest challenges for Tim Cook had to be the post-Jobs transition in the executive suite. Of course everyone worked together for years, but if key people couldn’t be the same room together, well, that doesn’t help to keep a company on track. Maybe it has been sheer inertia that has kept things moving to this point, my guess is that Tim Cook saw his time like a supply chain, if the parts don’t all mesh, you’re hooped.

With this big shakeup still breaking we’ll be watching this and updating as we understand more about the implications. Below is the official announcement from Apple:

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”

“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.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

More links: TNW, Business Insider, The Loop.

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Categories: Apple News

  • http://www.facebook.com/THExREALxTACO Jeremy Taco Patterson

    Woah!

    Browett isn’t that big a surprise as I don’t THINK they’re really happy with retail performance. I am surprised to see Forstall go though.

    Ive handling more responsibility and reaching into other departments is a GOOD thing. He is the closest thing to a Jobs-level perfectionist at Apple and SHOULD be VP of Operations, if not COO in the not-too-distant future.

    • http://trishussey.com Tris Hussey

      Jeremy, Agreed. Though from other sources I gather that Browett was pushing the stores in the wrong way (fewer hours, etc) and Forstall might not have been playing nicely in the sandbox.

      • http://www.facebook.com/THExREALxTACO Jeremy Taco Patterson

        Indeed. My mom took her iMac in to our local Apple store due to iPhoto crashing constantly. They misdiagnosed it twice (too many photos first, then a “faulty card reader” corrupting the files… Seriously?!) and finally they ran diagnostics on it and found a faulty logic board.

        Now, they have had it a week. Whenever she calls to check on the status, there is NEVER anybody there who can give her an ETA.

        This is NOT Apple quality service at ALL.

  • http://rounak.me/ Rounak Jain

    Proof that there was indeed tension between Forstall and other execs:
    “that will encourage even more collaboration between the Company’s world-class hardware, software and services teams”

    Partial unification of app development across the two platforms?:
    “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.”

    Apple’s about to do a lot more in the custom silicon area (http://www.iphonehacks.com/2011/10/apple-has-1000-engineers-working-on-low-power-high-performance-chips.html) :
    “This organization will also include the semiconductor teams, who have ambitious plans for the future.”

    Bad hire:
    Additionally, John Browett is leaving Apple.

  • Hmmm?

    Interesting time they chose to reveal the news. May be to give investors time to “embrace” the changes made?

    • http://trishussey.com Tris Hussey

      Yeah, after the closing bell, plus stock exchanges closed tomorrow. It’s a big, big shake up for sure!