Big news this afternoon from Apple, as the Cupertino firm has announced that both SVP of iOS Software Scott Forstall and SVP of Retail John Browett will be leaving the company. In a press release that just hit the wire, Apple revealed that Scott Forstall will be leaving next year and will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook until then. John Browett is also leaving Apple, and a search for a replacement is already underway. Apple says that the Retail group will be reporting directly to Tim Cook until a successor is found.
The remaining executives at Apple will be gaining new responsibilities as a result of these departures. Jony Ive, who currently serves as SVP of Industrial Design, will direct the Human Interface portion of Apple. Eddie Cue, who is currently SVP of Internet Software and Services, will now be looking over Siri and Maps. Craig Federighi, Apple's SVP of Mac Software Engineering, will now lead both iOS and OS X. Finally, Bob Mansfield will be heading a new Technologies group that combines all of Apple's wireless groups into one organization. Mansfield previously served as SVP of Hardware Engineering and was slated to retire, but opted to return to Apple back in August.
The fact that two of Apple's top executives are leaving the company is pretty big news, and the exit of Scott Forstall means that other executives will be like Cue and Federighi will be gaining more iOS-related responsibilities. There's no word yet on why Forstall or Browett are leaving the company, and we're unlikely to get any explanation from Apple, but it'll certainly be interesting to see where iOS goes from here. We'll be sure to give you a shout if any details on these departures come up. Apple's full announcement of today's news is below.
UPDATE: According to sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal, both Forstall and Browett were asked to leave Apple. The tipsters claim that the incident that prompted Apple to ask Forstall to leave involved the company's recent Maps-related apology letter. It's said that Forstall refused to sign the apology, arguing that Apple could address the issue without straight-up apologizing. Tim Cook then opted to sign the letter himself.
Apple Announces Changes to Increase Collaboration Across Hardware, Software & Services
Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi Add Responsibilities to Their Roles
CUPERTINO, California—October 29, 2012—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.
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.