From a Bloomberg tweet, Eddy Cue has reportedly fired Richard Williamson, the executive in charge of iOS 6 Maps. Apple doesn’t have an immediate successor in line for the job and is looking to outside partners for help in locating a solid replacement.
Here is the tweet:
BREAKING: Apple said to fire Maps manager after flaws hurt iPhone 5 debut
— Bloomberg News (@BloombergNews) November 27, 2012
From the Bloomberg article:
Richard Williamson, who oversaw the mapping team, was fired by Senior Vice President Eddy Cue, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information wasn’t yet public. Cue, who took over last month as part of a management shakeup, is seeking advice from outside mapping-technology experts and prodding digital maps provider TomTom NV to fix landmark and navigation data it shares with Apple.
It should have been expected that after Forstall’s departure, and Eddy Cue having Maps and Siri under his purview, that more changes to the Maps team would be coming:
Critics have faulted Apple’s new map software for unreliable landmark searches, routes that get users lost and lack of public transit directions. Cue is seeking to build confidence in the program amid a growing battle with Google Inc. (GOOG), whose mapping application had been built into Apple’s iPhone since its introduction in 2007. Google is now preparing to unveil rival downloadable apps for Apple’s mobile devices.
While Apple’s map program doesn’t appear to have hurt sales of the iPhone 5, it was a rare public misstep that forced Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook to apologize to customers.
Bloomberg’s assertion that Maps hasn’t hurt iPhone 5 sales, adoption of iOS 6 has been curtailed (anecdotal evidence) because people don’t want to give up Google Maps. If you’re a heavy transit user, not having transit directions (not to mention the errors in Maps in general—albeit the errors are being fixed) is a big problem.
The next logical question is when their will be changes to the Siri team, or whether there will be any changes at all. Siri isn’t perfect, and Google Voice Search is pretty compelling, will Eddy change the leadership of that team as well?