Apple’s Scott Forstall and John Browett to leave firm
Apple has announced a major shake-up of its management, with two senior executives to leave the company.
The announcement follows embarrassing problems with its new mapping software and disappointing quarterly results.
Scott Forstall, head of its iOS software, will leave next year. He will serve as an adviser to chief executive Tim Cook in the interim.
Head of retail John Browett, the former Dixons boss, is also leaving after just six months in the job.
Apple said the moves were a way to increase collaboration across its hardware, software and services businesses.
The company faced a barrage of criticism after its new mapping software, introduced last month, showed inaccuracies and misplaced towns and cities.
The debacle led to Mr Cook issuing an apology to customers, while some critics called for Mr Forstall’s head as he was the executive behind the panned app.
Mr Forstall joined Apple in 1997 when the technology giant purchased Steve Jobs’ start-up Next, and he is credited as one of the original architects of Mac OS X.
Mr Browett left British electronics chain Dixons to take up his post with Apple in April this year. His efforts to cut back staffing at the firm’s stores provoked a backlash and U-turn, all of which was leaked to the press.
The search for his successor is already underway, with stores reporting directly to chief executive Tim Cook in the meantime.
No specific reasons were given for either man’s departure.
Apple’s fourth quarter profits of $8.2bn (£5bn) reported last week, also missed Wall Street forecasts, while the 14 million iPads it sold in the quarter fell short of analysts’ expectations.
The management changes come a little over a year into Mr Cook’s reign as chief executive.
“We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history,” Mr Cook said.
“The amazing products that we’ve introduced in September and October… 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.”
Mr Browett was seen as one of Mr Cook’s big hires. The fact he has moved him out after such a short period of time may be seen as the Apple boss demonstrating a ruthless, but perhaps efficient streak.
“These changes show that Tim Cook is stamping his authority on the business,” Ben Wood, analyst with CCS Insight, said.
“Perhaps disappointed with the maps issues, Forstall became the scapegoat.”
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