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Apple execs Scott Forstall and John Browett to leave company [u]

post #1 of 226
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In a major shakeup at Apple, the company announced on Monday that SVP of iOS Software Scott Forstall will be leaving Cupertino in 2013, while SVP of Retail John Browett is also scheduled to depart at an undetermined time.

Update: Apple has updated its corporate leadership webpage to reflect the new management changes.

Apple Leadership
Apple's new Leadership page. | Source: Apple


It is unclear why Forstall and Browett are leaving Apple, though it appears the remaining executives, including Jony Ive, Bob Masfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi, will shoulder the burden in lieu of replacements.

As head of Apple's mobile software division, Forstall recently came under fire when iOS Maps was released in a form inaccuracies combined with missing features to prompt pundits and customers to widely pan the mapping service that replaced the Google Maps-powered app shipped in iOS since its inception.

Scott Forstall
Apple SVP of iOS Software Scott Forstall


In May, Forstall sold 95 percent of his shares in the company, which at the time was worth $38.7 million. The executive was due to receive another 100,000 in restricted stock units that fully vest in 2014, and 150,000 restricted units that vest in 2013 and 2016, if he had stayed with Apple.

Forstall is expected to leave Apple sometime next year and will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook in the interim.

Not much was said about SVP of Retail John Browett's exit, though the departure comes less than one year after the former Dixons CEO was hired by Apple to replace Ron Johnson. According to the release, the entire Retail team will report directly to Cook until a suitable replacement is found.

Browett
Apple SVP of Retail John Browett


Like Forstall, Browett's actions were scrutinized as reports suggested the executive's plans to raise Apple Store margins was taking its toll on employees.

Perhaps most visible was the alleged firing of recently-hired Apple Store staff in the UK, which was accompanied by drastic working hour cuts in the U.S. and Canada. Browett later claimed the staffing changes were a "mistake" and said they would be reversed, however further reports suggested that an emphasis on revenue was trumping customer experience.

It was revealed in April that Browett received 100,000 restricted stock units worth roughly $61 million, 5,000 of which recently vested on Oct. 20. An additional 15,000 units were to vest on the executive's one-year anniversary with Apple, with remaining shares set to vest in 20,000 unit packages every April.

From Apple's announcement:

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?

?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.

post #2 of 226

Mapsgate!

post #3 of 226
Glad to see John Browett go, actually.
post #4 of 226
I like the direction of these changes. Ive and Mansfield both getting more influence and responsibility. Browett is out, thank Tim. Forstall? Not sure about that one, but Jony Ive should have say over UI design.

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post #5 of 226

Change for the good! The real post-Jobs situation is starting to gel. Mansfield is talented, if a pain, but Cue and Federighi are top notch.

 

Will Jony be the next CEO?

post #6 of 226

Ironically, didn't Browett just receive his signing bonus (AAPL stock?)  

post #7 of 226
This could be good; perhaps Apple will be a bit less greedy, and more focused on customers rather than just making money at every turn.
post #8 of 226

Abandon ship!!!

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post #9 of 226

Well. Uh… 

 

There's that. 

 

Half good, half bad, I guess.


Originally Posted by davida View Post
This could be good; perhaps Apple will be a bit less greedy, and more focused on customers rather than just making money at every turn.
 

Would you just?! Come on.


Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post
Will Jony be the next CEO?

 

Jony's like Woz. I don't imagine he'd ever want to leave where he loves, and I don't want to see him anywhere else. He has an eye for design, just like Woz had an eye for engineering. Doesn't mean he'd be a good Overseer.

post #10 of 226

Can they fix the UI design of some OSX and iOS apps now? I never thought that Tim had the balls... Great move. the first half of next year can really be all about new software paradigms.

post #11 of 226
Given the twitter ire about Browett I'm not shocked. There was likely a clause in his contract that after 6 months either side could decide he wasn't a good fit and cut the whole thing. He might have made the call himself. Who wants to work for a place where the employees under your charge loathe you.

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post #12 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

Mapsgate!

 

Speculative. There are lots of reasons people at the VP level might step down. We don't know if its related to Maps, and Apple will probably never (officially) comment one way or the other.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #13 of 226
A lot of people will be happy to see Browett go. But Forstall? That's unexpected. I wonder if he was liked by Steve but not so much the other execs.
post #14 of 226

If I had to guess, the whole Maps things didn't help Forstall's position in executive management. There may have been other reasons. He's not just being fired though since he'll be around in an advisor role for a little while. What will be interesting is where he will show up again. He probably wants to run his own company and that may not have been in the future with the Cook era underway. Well, at least we now know why he wasn't at the recent product rollout.

 

Browett on the other hand, looks like he was just fired.

 

What's also curious is what's left. Eddy Cue is pretty much taking over all app development, be it iOS or OS X. Craig Federighi is going to be the operating system czar. And Bob Mansfield, who had previously announced retirement from the hardware group is now head of the new Technologies group. This should be an interesting position for him since it handles all of Apple's chipmaking operations into his org. Talk about a growing business.


Edited by Sevenfeet - 10/29/12 at 2:31pm
post #15 of 226

Wasn't Forstall the father of iOS?

post #16 of 226

Thank god Forstall is out and Ive is in charge of Human Interfaces! Hopefully this means less iOS crap in Mac OS X and the death of Skeuomorphism. http://www.macrumors.com/2012/09/11/apples-designers-clashing-over-tacky-software-skeuomorphisms/

 

"According to the report, Apple's iOS chief Scott Forstall has long been a proponent of incorporating skeuomorphic features in the company's software, with Steve Jobs having supported and even originated that design direction for Apple's products. But others such as hardware guru Jonathan Ive find the inclusion of such features distasteful, and Apple's designers have reportedly been divided into camps over which direction to take Apple's products."

 

 

Now all that Apple has to do is bring buy out nest (http://www.nest.com) to bring Tony Fadell back into the fold. Bringing back Ron Johnson wouldn't be a bad idea either.


Edited by z3r0 - 10/29/12 at 2:33pm
post #17 of 226

I wonder if Jony Ive will remove the leather and such from Calendar, he likes minimalist design.

post #18 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

 

Speculative. There are lots of reasons people at the VP level might step down. We don't know if its related to Maps, and Apple will probably never (officially) comment one way or the other.

 

I had typed more, and even an "/s" but it got deleted before I hit "enter."  It was tongue in cheek.

 

Not sure how I feel about Forstall leaving, as I thought he was ok.  Browett is obviously good riddance.  If the employees don't like him, it affects their ability to serve the customer.  Jony as UI lead?  Can you imagine?  The man is a legend.

post #19 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by davida View Post

This could be good; perhaps Apple will be a bit less greedy, and more focused on customers rather than just making money at every turn.

 

Name a tech company that is more "focused on customers."

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #20 of 226

I like the Mapsgate comment. I have responded in other forums, who complained about how bad it was, and how Steve would have handled that. Well, now we know how Tim handled it. I liked Forstall's presentation skills, and he obviously did a HUGE amount for Apple, but we have all read stories how he had a big head, and was a pain in the ass to work with. The Maps?.........well, the buck stops (software wise) with Scott, and he screwed up big time IMHO.

 

I met him several years ago at Macworld, and was very impressed with him. However, stories started to build year after year, about him taking credit when credit was not totally due, and it might just have eventually bit him in the butt.

post #21 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

 

Name a tech company that is more "focused on customers."

McDonalds... Oh wait..

post #22 of 226
The only move that surprises me here is Forstall. I guess the talk of him being groomed to be the next Steve Jobs was way off.
post #23 of 226
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post
Can they fix the UI design of some OSX and iOS apps now?

 

Elaborate? Fix in what way?


Originally Posted by charlituna View Post
Who wants to work for a place where the employees under your charge loathe you.

 

"They hate me! They hate me, and I don't know why. They don't appreciate my genius. Just the other day, I walked into an Apple Store and there were employees just standing around, TALKING to customers! What do they think we're paying them for? Man the registers or get out. And then, oh~, and then I said to Tim, I said, 'We could save a bundle if we only had one screen back there in the Genius bar instead of two, or no screens and one of those boards where you put the letters up individually,' and he just GLARED at me! I mean, yeah, he's CEO, but I'm the retail guy. I know these things!"

 

"Of course, dear."


Originally Posted by igriv View Post
Scott Forstall is a noted weasel, so good riddance.

 

…Who was in charge of creating iOS, their most popular platform to date.

post #24 of 226
Fuck yeah! Good riddance to John Browett.
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post #25 of 226

And come on, this has nothing to do with Maps. If Apple didn't have faith in Maps or thought it had failed, they would have simply switched back. 

 

On skeuomorphism, it has a place, period. Yellow leather is garish, I agree, but do you people REALLY want Windows 8-style minimalism in your applications? I don't care if the answer is yes; the answer's no. I think Jony will still do skeuomorphism, but beautifully, simplistically, incorporating raw "materials" and a contrast between them.

 

"What, you mean like the brushed metal UI in Panther/Tiger?"

We must never speak of that again. lol.gif

 

"At least it wasn't pinstripes…"

Well, there's that.

post #26 of 226

Scott Forstall??! Holy. Fucking. Shit. My heart literally skipped a beat when I read this. This better not be solely about maps. Besides Steve, Forstall has always struck me as a visionary in the company, and he's responsible for the inception and continued success of iOS. It's insane that he's being booted. I would hope that Cook did not base this on the hyper-sensationalized maps hysteria, which for many works perfectly, is one of the most ambitious and impressive software initiatives Apple has ever done, and which was a move they were forced to make for their longterm benefit and that of their users. I honestly saw Forstall as Apple's next CEO, and someone who always 'got' Apple more so than anyone else at the company (besides Ive), not to mention seeing so many characteristics in him that reminded me of Jobs and his unrelenting drive. 

 

I'd love to know why this move was made, and who's decision it was. Honestly it just seems to completely wrong, seeing the successes the guy has had and the trust that SJ gave him. If there was a 'next Steve Jobs' att he company, the only person I could point to is him. I mean, ****. This is..depressing. 

post #27 of 226
Personally I never liked Forstall, he always came across as smarmy to me.
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post #28 of 226
I doubt Forstall's departure had anything to do with Maps. He's been there forever and was close to Jobs. If he's leaving, I'm guessing it was his own decision.

Browett, however, seems like it wasn't a good fix and Tim dropped the axe.
post #29 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

 
Google around. Forstall is known for being a corporate infighter and a total a**hole.
 

What the **** is your point? SJ was also known to be an asshole. That doesn't take away from the other qualities he had. These are character flaws that you put up with, when the person brings so much else to the table. You don't look for Mother Theresa in these positions. You find people who have vision, drive, skill, and can execute. He's also the only guy I think can do a half decent job in presenting, compared to Steve. 


Edited by Slurpy - 10/29/12 at 2:41pm
post #30 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Speculative. There are lots of reasons people at the VP level might step down. We don't know if its related to Maps, and Apple will probably never (officially) comment one way or the other.

From the last profile of Scott Forstall, he is clearly a very ambitious individual who is also willing to play office politics to get his way. Not saying this is a bad thing, but that when you couple that with the rumored desire to be CEO, it is clear that the dynamics between him and Tim Cook cannot be all that great.
post #31 of 226

I think Eddy Cue getting responsibility over Siri and Maps is a great thing, it will finally bring all of their online services together and allow them to deeply integrate them further.

 

Craig Federighi taking over iOS is a good thing. He knows how to pack many great features into something still very user-friendly, this will hopefully mean a lot more OS X features being ported to iOS! :D Scott Forstall really surprised me, though. I was expecting him to become CEO in 9 years time. However, I do remember a report from (last year?) that stated Forstall, like Browett, wasn't much liked in the company.

 

Sir Jony taking over UI? *Dances like a maniac* I'm getting giddy...while he isn't a software guru, he will certainly be able to say whether a product is great or not, and whether it fits with the hardware design. I understand that he isn't a huge fan of the current look of iOS/OS X.

 

And finally, John Browett leaving? *Dancing intensifies* Let's hope he just doesn't decide to return to Britain...

 

EDIT:// Bob Mansfield was a good choice to increase power. I like him.


Edited by CGJ - 10/29/12 at 2:42pm
post #32 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Elaborate? Fix in what way?

 

"They hate me! They hate me, and I don't know why. They don't appreciate my genius. Just the other day, I walked into an Apple Store and there were employees just standing around, TALKING to customers! What do they think we're paying them for? Man the registers or get out. And then, oh~, and then I said to Tim, I said, 'We could save a bundle if we only had one screen back there in the Genius bar instead of two, or no screens and one of those boards where you put the letters up individually,' and he just GLARED at me! I mean, yeah, he's CEO, but I'm the retail guy. I know these things!"

 

"Of course, dear."

 

…Who was in charge of creating iOS, their most popular platform to date.

Design. Compare the beauty of safari and mail, iWork, even iPhoto, with reminders and notes. I think that you guys have a name for it.. skeoumorphism or something like that. ugly stuff.

post #33 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

 

I had typed more, and even an "/s" but it got deleted before I hit "enter."  It was tongue in cheek.

 

Not sure how I feel about Forstall leaving, as I thought he was ok.  Browett is obviously good riddance.  If the employees don't like him, it affects their ability to serve the customer.  Jony as UI lead?  Can you imagine?  The man is a legend.

 

Oh, I agree 100% about Jony Ive moving into a visible role in UI design. He gets it. He is the Anointed One. There's also an interesting comment by Dieter Rams from the documentary Objectified, in which Rams says (to the effect) that with computers, the goals and need for design transcends the physical aspects of the machine and into the user interface. This is one area where Apple can set itself apart. (As an aside, while the "LOL @ Apple" crowd ignorantly claim Apple "stole" Rams' design, in reality, Rams praises Apple for following his design philosophy).

 

Whereas Microsoft is desperately trying to turn Windows 8 into a "colorful waste of screen space"--populated with monochrome iconography and stock photos, Apple will continue evolving the way humans and machines interact in a meaningful way.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #34 of 226
I see significant advantages to bringing the iOS and OS X teams closer together under one leader, and to putting the best designer in a position where he can ensure all of Apple's products meet the same high standards for interface and design.

On the retail side, I just hope someone gets rid of those iPad kiosks all over the place and reduces the clutter on the stores' tabletops. I hardly see anyone using them, and they distract from whatever product you're looking to buy - particularly smaller ones like iPods and iPhones. iPad kiosks to tell you about iPads are also rather absurd. This was a failed experiment - time to try something else IMHO. The mobile self-checkout applications, on the other hand, show promise.
post #35 of 226
Entirely speculative, but I wonder if Forstall wanted to do something on his own?
post #36 of 226
Entirely speculative, but I wonder if Forstall wanted to do something on his own?
post #37 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Personally I never liked Forstall, he always came across as smarmy to me.

 

I agree.  We can only speculate as to whether he was fired or resigned, and also, if he was fired, if Maps was an issue.  It's easy to imagine that if Cook felt that Forstall was not being fully forthcoming about the quality of Maps at release time, that might have been one of the straws that broke the back.  And as far as being an asshole, just because SJ could get away with it doesn't mean that SF could! 

post #38 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

I'd love to know why this move was made, and who's decision it was. Honestly it just seems to completely wrong, seeing the successes the guy has had and the trust that SJ gave him. 

I think Browett's departure is not surprising. The fact that Ive is taking over leadership of HI may be a clue. If it ever came to Ive or Forestall we have the answer. Just speculation but that would be my guess. 

What I don;t like is the seeming centralization of power. And much as I love Ive's design I worry that he can stay 'fresh', and playful in an increasingly centralized corporate culture. Apple ought to bring out a bicycle or something, just for the hell of it. I hope they will keep the 'start-up' mentality going. 

post #39 of 226
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post
Design. Compare the beauty of safari and mail, iWork, even iPhoto, with reminders and notes.

 

Ah, I get you. I agree, at least partially. Reminders is fine, in my book. Tone down the texture a little. But it's intended to be like one of those old ring-bound flip up notepads, and it does that pretty well.

post #40 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennytheball View Post

Entirely speculative, but I wonder if Forstall wanted to do something on his own?

Possible, but I doubt it.  I think anywhere he goes will be a demotion.

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