Tim Cook takes full control of Apple: John Browett and Scott Forstall out; Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi get expanded responsibilities

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, in the press release. “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.

MacDailyNews Take: This is a perfect move by Mr. Cook and one we can endorse wholeheartedly. Absolutely perfect!

So ends the failed Browett experiment and so collapses the Forstall fiefdom that brought us an overly hyped-up, inexplicably “beta” tag-lacking Maps app with melting bridges, no Statue of Liberty, and gift-wrapped PR fiasco for the competition (“advisor to CEO” is code for “effective non-compete”). Bravo in all respects, Mr. Cook!

Having Ive’s sensibilities brought to bear throughout Apple’s HI will be a particular Jobssend!

Mistake will not be tolerated, neither will nickel and diming a main engine of Apple’s success (retail), and neither will faux leather-stitching, fake paper, and other skeuomorphic la-te-da.

Today, Tim Cook took full control of Apple Inc. and the company will be much better for it!

Here’s a recap of recent possibly-related MacDailyNews Takes:

• Apple software designers sick of doing things Scott Forstall’s way; ‘civil war’ said breaking out – Wednesday, October 10, 2012:

What does Apple’s chief hardware designer Jony Ive think about Scott Forstall’s faux paper shredders, stitched leather, green poker table felt and other skeuomorphic software designs?

“My focus is very much working with the other teams on the product ideas and then developing the hardware and so that’s our focus and that’s our responsibility. In terms of those elements you’re talking about, I’m not really connected to that.” – Sir Jonathan Ive, May 23, 2012

Very diplomatic, Jony!

“True ornament is not a matter of prettifying externals. It is organic with the structure it adorns…” – Frank Lloyd Wright

• Tim Cook open letter: We fell short with new Maps app; we are extremely sorry – Friday, September 28, 2012:

One thing we would like to know is: Who’s responsible for opening Apple up to this overblown shitstorm and why are they still working for Apple Inc., if they still are?

(Yes, we know we’ll likely never get those two answers.)

No matter what Apple does, no matter how much better they make Apple Maps, it will now always “suck” in the minds of a large segment of the population. This open letter from Cook only helps cement the idea that Maps is a “failure.” The fool(s) responsible for preparing Maps for release and then releasing it with obvious issues (overblown as they are) and therefore tainting Maps forever should face severe consequences. As in: Pink slip(s). If you don’t get fired over this debacle, what exactly does get you fired at Tim Cook’s Apple?

Here’s a little hint for the future: Everything that requires widespread customer use to develop a rich database before the product becomes fully usable should be clearly labelled “beta” upon release. Apple did it with Siri, but they forgot to do it with Maps. Had Apple been smart enough to simply place a “beta” tag on Maps, all of this rigamarole would never have occurred.

Steve’s attention to detail may very well be irreplaceable.

• Apple’s home-grown Maps leaves some users lost – Friday, September 21, 2012:

Way to hand the FUD opening to competitors and/or those with an ax to grind, Apple! Golden boy Forstall’s image may be forever tarnished. Or not. Speaking of that, though, we got Browett’s public mea culpa for Borwettizing the Apple Retail Stores, so where’s Forstall’s for this Maps debacle?

• Apple newbie John Browett brings Dixons to Apple Retail Stores – Friday, August 17, 2012:

Apple Retail Stores are the public face of Apple. Apple Retail Stores are responsible in large part for Apple’s success, perhaps even more than even Tim Cook realizes – or he would have made damn sure that a person who fully understood how Steve Jobs’ Apple works was hired to replace Ron Johnson. Cook should have hired Johnson’s replacement from within Apple Retail. Major mistake.

Tim Cook’s biggest hire to date. It makes us worry. Cook needs to own his mistake, too.

This isn’t about minor “mistakes.” This is about an outside virus that threatens to irrevocably damage Apple’s DNA; invited in by Cook to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, no less.

Browett’s type of “thinking” will kill Apple faster than 10 lines of beige Performas.

If Cook can’t see that clearly, he needs to go, too.

Concerned Apple shareholders might want to email CEO Tim Cook directly and ask him what exactly he’s doing to fix this Browett problem: tcook@apple.com

Related articles:
Apple software designers sick of doing things Scott Forstall’s way; ‘civil war’ said breaking out – October 10, 2012
Tim Cook open letter: We fell short with new Maps app; we are extremely sorry – September 28, 2012
Apple newbie John Browett brings Dixons to Apple Retail Stores – August 17, 2012

An Apple CEO-in-waiting, Scott Forstall, sells 95% of his company shares – May 2, 2012

208 Comments

  1. Bye Browett, take your Cambridge diploma and stick it where the sun don’t shine, Cambridge  doesn’t teach Think Different.

    Looks like Forstall ain’t quite the “genius” bestowed on him by some MDN geniuses huh?

    Anyone still doubt Tim Cook has the reigns tightly under control?

    1. I knew it was gonna happen… Forstall screwed himself first w/ Siri, then Maps. Plus, I think there’s a lot that can be improved by having OSX & iOS in the same group instead of competing teams. Browett was just a joke. His days were numbered before he even started.

      1. Both Siri and Maps were major chutzpah plays where the stakes and payouts weren’t “safe”. Scott Forestall is invaluable to any organisation that likes to take broad risks like those and to retain the ability to transform paradigms on their heads. He is a genius and Apple will rue the day when he may finally take his leave.

      2. Siri? Siri is a hugely popular feature. That was a wild success. Maps was a completely overblown problem that is actually very awesome where it works which is most of the US, and many other countries. It’s biggest problem is in the countries where there’s not much data.

      3. I agree. And don’t.

        Forstall has done a brilliant job overall. Siri’s shortfallings were (mostly) addressed (fairly) quickly, and once people understood how to use it, it was fine. And it was still a “beta” product, for better or worse. Kudos on Siri.

        Maps is a pretty decent app, as well. Its shortcomings are (mostly) overblown, and, as with Siri, problems are being addressed quickly.

        But he did need to go, just because he hasn’t signed off on not being perfect. What would be so wrong with that? Sometimes saving face is best done by admitting there were mistakes. If Cook had to take the fall there, he needs someone in that position willing to take the responsibility for his deeds.

        It wasn’t a bad job; it did deserve an apology.

    2. For all those bashing Forstall lets not forget that Steve Jbs brought him from NEXT to Apple and that he was responsible for iOS becoming mobile version of OS X. He was the one that made the whole Full internet accessible on the Iphone possible. That’s a fact. I think Apple will miss Scott Forstall.

        1. +1000

          Losing Forstall will be a major bonus to Android.
          Have we all forgotten who presented the best case against Samsung.

          I believe Cook merely ousted his own competition.
          Sad sad move Cook. You will pay dearly.

          1. At least the reasons why Forstall is ousted is not clear. The is issue obviously can not be with leather imitating skins of iOS applications.

            Maybe this is because of Maps blunder? I mean they had to check at least Statue of Liberty and 3D roads and bridges. This was really embarrassing. However, at this point it is not known if Forstall “forgot” to establish quality control team for those purposes or not. But yes, this blunder maybe the reason.

      1. He probably couldn’t live up to a leadership position he got and it would be hard to accept a demotion, so unless he stays on in an ‘advising role’ or new role, he’ll have to go. He was technically bright but is no architect or software designer.

        1. I think the “advising role” is basically an offer of thanks for all he has done at Apple, particularly with the iPhone and iPad (he put the team together and championed iOS). Notice Browett did not get the same treatment but was simply shown the big glass Apple Retail door.

          1. I agree.

            The dynamics and stucture have changed at Apple, each team leader’s role is now more of a finite responsibility. They all have to take on extra responsibilities and scrutiny – an added layer of responsibility, because Tim Cook trusts them to carry that responsibility and torch. Cut it or cut out. This is prime time.

      2. Easy there, folks. Forstall perhaps got a little eager on the Siri and Maps projects, but he was the one who showed Steve Jobs that the iPod-based iPhone wouldn’t work and that iOS was the way to go. He also was the one who convinced Jobs to open up iOS to developers, create a great SDK to attract them, and have an App Store to sell them. Jobs was against all of that from the beginning. Remember his insistence on web apps?

        But that was also one of Steve Jobs’ greatest talents: Recognizing when something better comes along and switching tracks rather than insisting on making your current track bend to meet the new direction you need to go (a la Microsoft).

        1. He is all that but he should never have been given carte blanche and put in a end all top spot, he obviously doesn’t have e detailed vision and magnifying glass and is probably not the best head administrator.

          1. Without carte blanche you play safe. It takes balls to challenge status quo and playing safe isn’t it. I fear, without Mr. Forestall, there would be little to differentiate Apple from MS, IBM, Google of the world. You need those that can go for broke in your team.

            1. Yeah, but not every great technicql engeneer is a great visionary or aechitect – forstall couldn’t see all the details, or the entire picture and certainly was focused only on his mission which needed the oversight and scrutiny that Jobs provided…and he dropped the ball

        2. Completely bullshit Bizlaw. Steve Jobs was not against native Apps, the SDK just wasn’t ready at launch, those things take time. Web Apps was a stop-gap. NO way on earth they patched together an SDK in a few months after the WWDC and released it in January from scratch. If you think that you have no idea what platform or SDK development looks like. That took years.

          As far as Steve Jobs being against it at any point, what gives you that idea? Jobs oversaw numerous development platforms from the Apple II to the Mac to NeXT and even Pixar arguably had it’s own movie development platform, Renderman.

          1. I beg to differ. The iPhone was years in development, they previewed it six months before launch, if they’d wanted an app store it would have launched on day one – or at least mentioned.

            Steve wanted web apps. This has been confirmed by insiders (on MDN, no less). But users and developers demanded native apps, and Apple obliged. And the SDK, when released, was quite rough around the edges, according to developers – obviously a rush job.

            Not everything Apple does is part of Steve’s grand design. At least some is reactionary, and making up as they go along.

        1. Yep and where have we heard that reason before when someone else was fired many years ago?

          I don’t know what to make of this move. Though I am glad to see the Retail idiot hit the streets.

          1. The problem was when the Retail idiot was hired and BY COOK. And there was tons of damage done by Bowman, too. It’s not going to be so easy to undo all that damage.

    3. Thank you MDN. Thank you for running the “dump Browett” poll. I really think it helped. Obviously Browett needed to go. He was very detrimental to the future of Apple. So glad he’s gone. Now the Apple stores can get back to normal. He wasn’t there long enough to do irreparable damage at least.

      If you believe what you read, Forstall was very difficult to get along with. Very abrasive. A prick. Just saying. Clearly the map debacle didn’t help. Apparently he didn’t fit into the Apple way of thinking. Good riddance!

      Speak softly and carry a big stick. Tim knows how to straighten things out when it’s necessary. And it was very necessary. Nice.

        1. You’re correct, Steve was the head prick. Forstall was not the head prick. Thus he was expendable. As for “sometimes you need a prick”. You probably do. However most people respond to orders given. But you’re right, some people do need to work for a prick. And then sometimes, pricks try to justify their actions as necessary. As in your statement above. I’d guess that you are trying to justify same. Just saying.

    4. Scott Forstall is the one of the fathers of OS X/NextStep, he had been working for Steve since the Next days. Considering his success and the fact that he has a masters from Stanford, it is safe to assume he is no dummy. Steve didn’t suffer bozo’s.

      He is likely out because he is abrasive, ruthless and uncompromising, just like Steve. (who do you think guided him all these years?) He took no prisoners and famously doesn’t get along with Ive. He like Steve favored skeuomorphism in software design, Ive and other opposed it. Clearly Tim sided with Ive.

      This is the first move I see from Tim that I do not like. Browett, well I agree, he was a bozo and deserves to be gone.

      1. When you’re a true genius and VISIONARY like Jobs you can be that uncompomising. Forestall did not see the forest for the trees and good as he was he was no leader or architect, he missed the details consistently.

        1. Unless you are talking about the hysteria over maps, WTF are you talking about? What ‘details’ did he miss constantly? There is nothing that stands out in my mind AT ALL.

          OS X

          Aqua

          Leopard – Yah the first OS X worth a damn..

          iOS built from OS X kernel (remember, Steve had a competition between iPod group and OS group and Scott’s team beat the iPod team)

          iPhone without the stupid click wheel that they were going to build
          iPhone SDK/apps

          Siri

          These are all real, tangible things he worked on/directed/championed.

          1. Im talking about Forstall post Steve Jobs. He is no visionary. He does not have a big picture detail and vcomprehensive vision, which he needs to have now that Steve is not arund to tweak his work and guide his focus, which evidently is the way it was before he assumed more of the greater leadership weight that he was lacking in. Maps, Siri and other design obstinacies we’ve come to know of, were incomplete in detail which was rushed and glossed over despite being superior product overal. A good general does not necesarilly make a good architect or civilian leader and the brightest software engineer could easily be the worst team leader or for that matter product visionary.

            I know many excellent database programmers who’s product sucked because they failed to build the database on a broad enough foundation and rather added layers upon layers of solutions on a narrow foundation, which then couldn’t bear the weight it was intended for. I peak from experience. Forstall was a good and baybe even great software engineer, but he let that go to his head and got to big for his boots. As far as being a leader and visionary, he lacked forsight and comprehensive grasp and glossed over important details that should never have been compromised at Apple. As far as his new autonimous leadership role goes, he just didn’t have the right stuff and that’s why he was not the person Jobs chose to suceed him.

    1. MacDailyNews was dead on target for all three instances in criticizing Browett for screwing up retail, for taking Forstall to task for screwing up Maps and for having built himself a little kingdom of skeuomorphism.

      Bravo Mr. Cook and bravo, MDN!

      1. However, like Forstall, MDN believed the Maps fiasco was exaggerated and Cook shouldn’t have apologized. Also, MDN has touted Forstall as The NeXT Steve in the past.

    1. While I am fully on-board with the dismissal of Browett, I am not so sure about Forstall. There is more here than just MapsGate. And the reviews are mixed on Federighi – that’s why Cook begged Mansfield to stay. Speaking of Bob, I am glad to see him given a serious responsibility and, of course, it is hard not to like Jony’s expanded role. One thing is for sure: Cook is in charge.

    2. We also don’t know all of the details on Forstall’s inner relationships and workings within Apple, but Siri and Maps have not gone over as well as they should. Siri was one thing, as it was labeled a public beta and was a pretty new technology, but there’s no reason Maps should have been released in the state it was in.

      1. Bullshit. It should have been released and it should have been given a “beta” tag to keep some whiners happy, but it works unbelievably well. I depend on it to get to clients daily and it works flawlessly. The turn by turn directions are unbelievably good.

    3. Apparently so. No-one in the world would give either Siri or Maps an A for implementation, or even a B for Maps – and the Apple of old – and now it seems also of the future – only tolerates an A in everything, and especially those in leadership positions.

      1. I guess Forstall had better cancel the order for his new yacht. I think he really thought he would be the next CEO. Oh well, too bad Scotty! Put your resume in at Microsoft, I think they’re going to need a new CEO before long.

        1. Wow. That’s actually kinda scary. I hate to admit it, but W8 already has some good things going there, and Forstall would be scary at that helm.

          I agree with him being dismissed, but am worried about where he might land.

          I hope the MS board doesn’t read MDN. 😛

    4. Apple intrigue is probably more secretive than the “one more thing”. The Medici’s have nothing compared to Apple. One thing seems certain, Scott Forstall’s arrogance, intransigence, and repeated failures likely doomed his career opportunities with Apple.

    5. Skeumorphism alone deserves that. Like Avi Tenvanian, he is a NeXT holdover that has over lived his stay. Johnny I’ve taking over UI design is freakin’ awesome!!!!!

      1. Who designed the iPhone 4? You know, the one that gave us “Antennagate”! It doesn’t matter if ‘you’re holding it wrong’ or ‘don’t hold it that way’ or ‘free bumpers’ or ‘other phones held that way results in similar reactions’. Rightly or wrongly, it was an embarrassment that had to be quelled by a Steve Jobs and company – Cook, Schiller etc to come out and ‘explain’! Bottom line, Ive doesn’t walk on water and his idea of HI may or may not be all that “awesome”!

        Regarding ‘Skeumorphism’… I want a quality computer with a great OS, lickable buttons, uh???…

        http://www.changemakrs.com/SteveJobs/we-made-the-buttons-on-the-screen-look-so-good

      1. Is there any mapping service in the whole world that is 100% perfect?

        I have not heard of any. How is this worthy of the hype that surrounded it as a “failure”. Maps works fantastically well for me and I use it nearly every single day to get to clients.

        1. Agree. Google Maps had my house located 7 houses away from my address for years. Finally was fixed, but took a long time. I had to warn friends and deliveries not to use Google Maps to find it.

    1. Well done you managed to post something using a Surface without it going into a never-ending loop asking for your credentials, showing blank screens or the keyboard lagging horribly behind.

      That’s already more than many new surface users have accomplished!

      1. Last known seeing place of Zung Tang was at Rio’s Carnival in 09… he was a ‘passista’ but his costume caught fire and there was no fire extinguishers close by so the mob, estimated 329, saved his life but urinating on him to put the fire out. True story.

  2. While I’ve criticised Apple Maps for its clear flaws, particularly in the satellite view, which I’ve been sending error notifications about, it’s still far better that Google maps in one, absolutely crucial matter; the age of the photos. I have personal knowledge of local areas that prove the data is around ten to twelve months old, against the six, seven, or eight YEARS of Google’s map satellite view. Once Apple get a proper grip on it, it’ll kick Google’s ass!

    1. I’ve had the exact opposite experience with the satellite images here in FL. My last Google maps satellite is within 6 months old and Apple’s imagery is over 2 years old. Not that its that big of deal for my use, but Apple is older here. Must depend on where you live and where the satellites are taking pictures at any given time. Apple’s maps will be fine in due time….but it should have had Beta attached.

      1. Arial photos from Google Maps covering a large area of cities is at least 5 years old here, my neighbor’s addition isn’t visible. There is still an empty lot where my friend built a barn and she lives 20 miles away. The huge new shopping center a few years old is also still a field. So Google isn’t perfect either.

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