Apple's recent executive shakeup was about 'collaboration,' Tim Cook says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Though Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook stopped short of explicitly criticizing recently ousted executives Scott Forstall and John Browett, he did say that recent personnel changes were done to encourage "collaboration."

The comments from Cook from from his extensive interview with Bloomberg published on Thursday. Though Cook did not name Forstall specifically, his comments support earlier reports that claimed Forstall was let go from Apple in part because he was not a team player.

Cook told reporter Josh Tyrangiel that he has a strong belief that collaboration is "essential for innovation." It's also a core belief at Apple, and was something that company co-founder Steve Jobs also shared in.

"You have to be A-plus at collaboration," Cook said. "And so the changes that we made get us to a whole new level of collaboration. We've got services all in one place, and the guy that's running that has incredible skills in services, has an incredible track record, and I'm confident will do fantastic things."

The Apple CEO went on to praise lead designer Jony Ive, saying he has "the best taste of anyone in the world." In his new position, Ive will be responsible for the company's Human Interface division.

Tim Cook


Cook said the "face" of the iPhone and iPad is its software, and so it only makes sense for Ive, who designs the hardware, to also have a hand in the software that runs on these devices.

"Jony has done a remarkable job leading our hardware design, so let's have Jony responsible for the software and the look and feel of the software," he said. "Not the underlying architecture and so forth, but the look and feel."

Cook also praised Bob Mansfield, Apple's senior vice president of Technologies, as the finest engineering manager in the world and "in a class by himself." And Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering was called "unbelievable."

"These moves take collaboration to a whole different level," Cook said. "We already were ??to use an industry phrase I don't like ??best of breed. But it takes us to a whole new level."

The ouster of Forstall and Browett, announced in October, represented a major change to Apple's top brass. While Browett's short-lived tenure as head of retail operations at Apple was filled with controversy, Forstall was a longtime member of Apple's team and was also close to the former CEO, Jobs.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    So reading between the lines, Tim Cook did not like Forstall and Forstall was incredibly political, basically building his own fiefdom within Apple and that's no-go with Cook.
  • Reply 2 of 62
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member


    I think Tim's talking a little too much these days. 


     


    He obviously knows what he's doing. It's just that I'm not used to seeing Apple go out and explain their moves like that. 

  • Reply 3 of 62
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,583member
    quadra 610 wrote: »
    I think Tim's talking a little too much these days. 

    He obviously knows what he's doing. It's just that I'm not used to seeing Apple go out and explain their moves like that. 

    Totally agree! Tim, don't go soft on us! And for god'a sake, DO NOT BRING MANUFACTURING TO THE US!!!!! You have a fiduciary duty to your stockholders that says DON'T DO IT!!!!!
  • Reply 4 of 62
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,191member
    rogifan wrote: »
    So reading between the lines, Tim Cook did not like Forstall and Forstall was incredibly political, basically building his own fiefdom within Apple and that's no-go with Cook.

    More like the rumors that Forstall was an obnoxious asshat that wouldn't take comment, opinion or otherwise from anyone were true and Cook tossed a rotten piece of fruit before it ruined the barrel.

    Tim Cook had Steve's vote and showed several times he could handle the job even before Steve left. Ive, Mansfield and Schiller were also Steve's chosen. But apparently Forstall wouldn't work with any of them. His fiefdom was basically his team which was treated well because they followed his orders but were also, it seems, forced to play audience to his constant bad mouthing of Cook, over SVP, product teams etc. that's rather toxic. And then to royally botch iOS and cost the company in good will, consumer confidence and repairs on phones and iPads bricked by the update. Not a winning move by Forstall. Any support he had on the Board would likely turn on him over that foul up
  • Reply 5 of 62
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,191member
    freerange wrote: »
    Totally agree! Tim, don't go soft on us! And for god'a sake, DO NOT BRING MANUFACTURING TO THE US!!!!! You have a fiduciary duty to your stockholders that says DON'T DO IT!!!!!

    Prove without a doubt that bringing anything to he US is bad for the stockholders. You can't.

    As for the talking, that was Steve's game but he's dead and so much plant food. So his opinion on the matter doesn't. According to story he even said as much to Tim. And just mayhem if there was more of this kind of think being putting out there folks would stop with the constant rumor mongering to get page hits off the company
  • Reply 6 of 62
    irelandireland Posts: 17,414member

    Quote:


    Apple's recent executive shakeup was about 'collaboration,' Tim Cook says




     


    Again.

  • Reply 7 of 62
    juandljuandl Posts: 228member
    That collaboration will be so very necesary to lead Apple into the new products it will need to pull away from Android.
  • Reply 8 of 62
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


     ...  "Jony has done a remarkable job leading our hardware design, so let's have Jony responsible for the software and the look and feel of the software," he said. "Not the underlying architecture and so forth, but the look and feel."   ...


     


    As far as I'm aware, this is the very first time we've heard anything this explicit about Ive's new role and I find this comment absolutely alarming.  it remains to be seen what talents Ive has in software design, but one thing is for certain .. he has absolutely no actual qualifications in that area.  


     


    As a former designer myself, I can say that no one in the design field would ever make the assumption that Cook is apparently making here.  Skill at 3D design or industrial design simply does not equate to skill in 2D design, production design, or software design.  They are completely different things.  


     


    Perhaps there is more to it than is apparent from Cook's comments, but if (as seems apparent) he is basically saying, "Well, Jony is great at designing the hardware so we thought we'd put him in charge of the look and feel of the software too."  then Apple could easily be making a horrible mistake here.  


     


    Taste is not universal.  You can be an excellent Industrial designer and still be a wearer of ugly sweaters who likes to watch "Family Guy."  Let's hope that against all odds, Jony Ive turns out to be a world leader at something he's never even been trained for.  The odds are against it however. 

  • Reply 9 of 62
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    quadra 610 wrote: »
    I think Tim's talking a little too much these days. 

    He obviously knows what he's doing. It's just that I'm not used to seeing Apple go out and explain their moves like that. 
    So he did an interview with Brian Williams and Bloomberg. What other talking has he done?
  • Reply 10 of 62
    irelandireland Posts: 17,414member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


     


    As far as I'm aware, this is the very first time we've heard anything this explicit about Ive's new role and I find this comment absolutely alarming. It remains to be seen what talents Ive has in software design, but one thing is for certain .. he has absolutely no actual qualifications in that area



     


    You can't get qualifications in taste and sensibility.


     


    Ive is a design genius. I trust he'll make the right decisions. His hardware design choices always have a sense of inevitably about them. I fully expect the same from his software design choices, because that's what he'll be doing, saying yes and no. From what I've heard Loren Brichter say recently (Loren was involved with the design of iOS 1), Jony was also involved in the software design of iOS 1.

  • Reply 11 of 62
    irelandireland Posts: 17,414member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    So he did an interview with Brian Williams and Bloomberg. What other talking has he done?


     


    D Conference and other snippets here and there, and many Apple events.

  • Reply 12 of 62
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,555member


    Of course you can't prove it, but on the other hand we have a considerable amount of realistic experience here that indicates that it is universally bad for stock holders.   Anybody with any sense can see which industries and companies have flourished with the move to China and which have suffered trying to run manufacturing in the USA.   The evidence is out there all you have to do is look, wake up and digest.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post



    Totally agree! Tim, don't go soft on us! And for god'a sake, DO NOT BRING MANUFACTURING TO THE US!!!!! You have a fiduciary duty to your stockholders that says DON'T DO IT!!!!!




    Prove without a doubt that bringing anything to he US is bad for the stockholders. You can't.



    As for the talking, that was Steve's game but he's dead and so much plant food. So his opinion on the matter doesn't. According to story he even said as much to Tim. And just mayhem if there was more of this kind of think being putting out there folks would stop with the constant rumor mongering to get page hits off the company


    Tim is free to do whatever he wants.    However don't be foolish here these sorts of releases are not accidental. Apple knows damn well that it can sway the minds of millions of consumers by simply alluding to new products and keep them from buying the competitors products.   Case in point iPad Mini which through well place leaks was kept in the publics mind for months until it was ready to ship.   In a way Tims comments are not unusual at all with respect to Apple and their ability to manipulate the consumer.

  • Reply 13 of 62
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    quadra 610 wrote: »
    I think Tim's talking a little too much these days. 

    He obviously knows what he's doing. It's just that I'm not used to seeing Apple go out and explain their moves like that. 

    I think he's trying to do something about the irrational stock price drop. The message is "we're not just firing people left and right because of problems with the company, but are rather reinforcing our core values" - which is a positive message. I suspect we'll see more disclosures in coming months in areas that are not giving away company secrets.
  • Reply 14 of 62
    kerrybkerryb Posts: 270member
    I think bringing some manufacturing (back) to the US is a great move even if it is only symbolic at this time. The labor force in America has become divided between white collar (decent salary and benefits) and the ever increasing low wage service-benefit-less jobs. There was a time not too long ago when a person could consider themselves and family as middle class even with a job in manufacturing. If Apple puts even 5% percent of the company's manufacturing in the USA they will probably be one of the very few if not only company of its scale to do so. Of course a huge investment in infrastructure would be necessary but Apple has deep pockets. If you don't invest in your future you wont have one.
  • Reply 15 of 62
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    As far as I'm aware, this is the very first time we've heard anything this explicit about Ive's new role and I find this comment absolutely alarming.  it remains to be seen what talents Ive has in software design, but one thing is for certain .. he has absolutely no actual qualifications in that area.  


     


    As a former designer myself, I can say that no one in the design field would ever make the assumption that Cook is apparently making here.  Skill at 3D design or industrial design simply does not equate to skill in 2D design, production design, or software design.  They are completely different things.



     


    First, just so we're all clear here. It seems obvious that Jony will be overseeing the visual design aspects of the software (not the software design itself). This is a subtle difference that is lost on some people.


     


    Second, Jony will be overseeing a team that is likely already in place and probably setting direction, philosophy and "tone" while probably not actually designing directly himself.


     


    Third, I don't agree that design sense and principles are not transferable, which is what I suspect will be the modus operandi here.


     


    Finally, it's certainly possible this may turn out to be an epic fail. But I'm optimistic that it is a good move and willing to reserve judgement until we start seeing the fruits of this change.

  • Reply 16 of 62
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post





    Totally agree! Tim, don't go soft on us! And for god'a sake, DO NOT BRING MANUFACTURING TO THE US!!!!! You have a fiduciary duty to your stockholders that says DON'T DO IT!!!!!


     


    How do you know the costs involved?  Have you gone through the numbers?  The MacPros could be mostly assembled with robots.  Less freight charges since they wouldn't fly them into the US market from China.

  • Reply 17 of 62
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drblank View Post


    The MacPros could be mostly assembled with robots.



     


    Possibly. I don't know. But I thought the whole "build it in America" fetishists were all about employing people in America to build things.

  • Reply 18 of 62
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    As far as I'm aware, this is the very first time we've heard anything this explicit about Ive's new role and I find this comment absolutely alarming.  it remains to be seen what talents Ive has in software design, but one thing is for certain .. he has absolutely no actual qualifications in that area.  

    As a former designer myself, I can say that no one in the design field would ever make the assumption that Cook is apparently making here.  Skill at 3D design or industrial design simply does not equate to skill in 2D design, production design, or software design.  They are completely different things.  

    Perhaps there is more to it than is apparent from Cook's comments, but if (as seems apparent) he is basically saying, "Well, Jony is great at designing the hardware so we thought we'd put him in charge of the look and feel of the software too."  then Apple could easily be making a horrible mistake here.  

    Taste is not universal.  You can be an excellent Industrial designer and still be a wearer of ugly sweaters who likes to watch "Family Guy."  Let's hope that against all odds, Jony Ive turns out to be a world leader at something he's never even been trained for.  The odds are against it however. 
    Just curious, was Steve Jobs ever trained in software design? He wasn't a designer, or engineer yet everyone seemed to trust his taste and judgement. Tim Cook isn't stupid and my guess is he didn't make this decision on his own. And I don't think Ive would take on this role if he didn't think he had the skills for it.
  • Reply 19 of 62
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    ireland wrote: »
    D Conference and other snippets here and there, and many Apple events.
    OK. Guess I don't see what the issue is with that. I mean he's not like Eric Schmidt giving interviews left and right saying stupid things.
  • Reply 20 of 62


    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

    Possibly. I don't know. But I thought the whole "build it in America" fetishists were all about employing people in America to build things.


     


    People fix and program the robots. Both high and low-end American jobs.

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