“Mystery continues to surround Scott Forstall’s removal from Apple in October 2012. Forstall has not given any public comments on the circumstances leading up to his dismissal as SVP of iOS Software, an unusual twist in an industry where executive turnover is common, and talent is scarce. As Apple struggles a bit with recent software launches and mishaps, many are asking if Apple would have been better off with Scott Forstall still leading iOS software,” Neil Cybart writes for Above Avalon. “I suspect Apple is giving Forstall quite a bit of financial incentive to remain quiet on what transpired leading to his termination in an effort to not overshadow the Apple Watch launch, a project Forstall likely worked on in the early development stages.”
“The official explanation from Apple for Scott Forstall’s removal was to increase collaboration, which implies Forstall was impeding such collaboration. Beyond that, we have been told very little information about the events leading up the management shakeup, besides ‘sources’ telling various journalists there were personality tensions. Fortune reporter Adam Lashinsky positioned the Apple Maps debacle, and Forstall’s refusal to apologize for it’s problematic launch, as the final nail in the coffin. Not having the other side of the story makes this situation that more interesting,” Cybart writes. “I suspect that Forstall was finding himself falling out of favor with the direction Jony and the rest of the executive team were heading. Apple was moving beyond phones and tablets into wearables, and software’s role was changing.”
“Some observers say Apple must miss not having Scott Forstall. I look at the statement as unfalsifiable since it is impossible to know all of the corresponding events that would have taken place if Scott Forstall were still as Apple. I would point out that considering some of Apple’s biggest product mishaps occurred under Forstall’s leadership, I tend to think Forstall’s value-add to Apple has been overestimated,” Cybart writes. “In addition, Craig Federighi has been doing a relatively good job leading software engineering as seen with the upbeat developer reaction following WWDC 2014.”
Read more in the full article – recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: One thing that’s fairly certain is that there are some powerful financial – and, likely, legal – incentives for Forstall to have remained absolutely mute in the face of some rather wilting criticisms of his management abilities/design sensibilities (or lack thereof) following his banishment into the wilderness.
One question remains: Was getting Bob Mansfield back to work at Apple predicated on Forstall not being there?
After Tim Cook gave him the ol’ heave ho, Scott Forstall spent a year traveling – December 9, 2013
Tony Fadell: Scott Forstall ‘got what he deserved’ – November 29, 2012
Un-retired: Why Bob Mansfield is back at Apple in a big way – November 1, 2012
Apple: Forstall pushed out by Cook, source says; news met with ‘quiet jubilation’ inside Apple – October 30, 2012
Now the real Jony Ive era begins at Apple Inc. – October 30, 2012
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 – October 29, 2012
Bob Mansfield, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, to retire; Dan Riccio to take over – June 28, 2012