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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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 lacking the polish consumers have come to expect from an Apple product. A number of 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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 233
    allenbfallenbf Posts: 993member


    Mapsgate!

  • Reply 2 of 233
    Glad to see John Browett go, actually.
  • Reply 3 of 233
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 233
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,461member


    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?

  • Reply 5 of 233
    allenbfallenbf Posts: 993member


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

  • Reply 6 of 233
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 233


    Abandon ship!!!

  • Reply 8 of 233


    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.

  • Reply 9 of 233


    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.

  • Reply 10 of 233
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 233

    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.

  • Reply 12 of 233
    igrivigriv Posts: 1,177member

    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

    Scott Forstall is a noted weasel, so good riddance. Browett has been much discussed in these pages, and I don't think there will be many tears shed. Props to Tim!


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  • Reply 13 of 233
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 233


    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.

  • Reply 15 of 233
    igrivigriv Posts: 1,177member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by allenbf View Post


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



     

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    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

    That's not so ironic -- the timing is intentional to help reduce bad blood (and possible lawsuits). Apple certainly has enough $$$ to buy themselves out of any unpleasantness. Also, good decision to announce this today when the equities markets are closed.


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  • Reply 16 of 233


    Wasn't Forstall the father of iOS?

  • Reply 17 of 233
    igrivigriv Posts: 1,177member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post



    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.


     

    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

     


    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

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


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  • Reply 18 of 233
    z3r0z3r0 Posts: 230member


    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.

  • Reply 18 of 233
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member


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

  • Reply 20 of 233
    allenbfallenbf Posts: 993member

    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.

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