Apple seems to have shuffled the deck on the upper management level on Monday, announcing the planned exit of iOS software senior vice president Scott Forstall in 2013 and changing the game for other members of its executive group.
John Browett, the head of Apple’s retail unit, is also leaving the company and the Cupertino giant is actively seeking his replacement. The retail team will report directly to CEO Tim Cook in the meantime.
In a press release, Apple is framing its executive shuffling as designed to “encourage even more collaboration between the Company’s world-class hardware, software and services teams.”
“We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history,” said Cook. “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.”
Forstall has been part of Apple since 1997 and was behind a lot of the forward motion enjoyed by iOS. He previously oversaw Mac OS software releases, but he also oversaw Apple Maps and we all know how that went. It’s hard to say if that fiasco had anything to do with Forstall’s exit, but it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility.
Design guru 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.” Also part of the shuffle, Eddy Cue will take on the responsibility of handling Siri – who may or may not know about Sandy – and will deal with Maps as well.
Bob Mansfield will head a new group called Technologies that will be tasked with managing “all of Apple’s wireless teams” under one roof, while Craig Federighi will take on iOS and OS X.
This is a major shake-up for Apple’s executive ranks, without question. With markets closed due to the storms on the East Coast, it’s hard to get a read on what impact this will have from a shares standpoint.