Apple boots out Maps boss

2012-10-30 09:05

San Francisco - Apple on Monday announced that the executive in charge of Maps, Siri and other software in its culture-changing iPhones is leaving as part of a shakeup in the upper ranks of the company.

Apple chief Tim Cook said the departure of Scott Forstall and enhanced roles of Jon Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi were part of a move to better integrate hardware, software, and services.

"We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple's history," Cook said.

Launches in the past two months of iPhone 5, the mobile operating system iOS 6, iPad Mini, iPad, iMac, MacBook Pro, iPod touch, iPod nano along with applications result from "relentless focus on tightly integrating world-class hardware, software and services", according to Cook.

Analysts credit the Apple "ecosystem" of coveted apps, sleek gadgets, and carefully curated services such as iTunes with making the company a dominant player in modern mobile internet lifestyles.


Forstall had been billed as one of the Apple executives with the potential to be a captivating pitchman for the company's products, helping to fill the shoes of late co-founder Steve Jobs at launch events.

Forstall will leave Apple in 2013 and serve as an advisor to Cook until his departure.

Ive will have "Human Interface" with devices added to his role as leader of Industrial Design at Apple. Ive is credited with being the person behind the look and feel of Apple gadgets.

Siri virtual personal assistant and Maps software will be added to Cue's online services group, which includes iTunes and the App Store.

Apple apologised in September for its glitch-ridden maps application in the new operating system used by the iPhone 5 and urged customers to use rival programs while improvements are made.

"At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment," chief executive Tim Cook said in an open letter.

"We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better."


Apple developed its own mapping program included in its new mobile iOS 6 operating system, and in doing so booted off Google Maps, which had been the default program for Apple devices.

But the new Apple program immediately drew scorn for omitting key landmarks and cities, failing to identify correct locations and distorting views from its images.

Cook encouraged customers to use alternatives, including Google, as Apple works out its bugs.

Although the maps application does not generate revenues directly, it often links to searches, and keeps users in the company's "ecosystem", which can be important over the long term.

But the maps glitches have tarnished the reputation of the iconic US firm, and some analysts have suggested the problems could drive customers away from the iPhone.

It was not clear on Monday whether the Maps debacle was a factor in Forstall's departure.

Federighi will head the teams behind the operating software for Apple mobile devices and Macintosh computers.

Also out is John Browett, who was in charge of Apple's real-world shops. Apple's retail team will report directly to Cook until a replacement is hired for Browett.

Browett's tenure included a store staff-reduction plan that ended with the California company backtracking and apologising for having "messed up".

  • hamish.drake1 - 2012-10-30 09:44

    He left the work on Monday, but is only expected home next week as he is travelling via London, Singapore, Beijing (3 days for extra-mural activities) and Cape Town. Forstall said that was indeed using Apple Maps for the trip home.

      dino.martin.549 - 2012-10-30 11:52

      @Hamish - lol, brilliant! :)

      omo.naija.750 - 2012-10-30 15:09

      The fruit is sinking.Google nexus 10 here i come!

  • hector.barbossa.52 - 2012-10-30 10:03

    hahahaha Put a Apple logo on a turd and sheepeople will stand in line around the block ..

      eric.shinn.90 - 2012-10-30 11:10

      Jeleous, down!

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-10-30 12:24

      well I used to think like you till I opened my eyes & changed to Apple....iMac, iPad, iPhone & apple TV, when you have these & you use them, you will understand what i'm talking about.

      arm.witmens - 2012-10-30 13:45

      agreed Nigel. Got my iphone and loving it.

  • nicole.paulsen.31 - 2012-10-30 10:54

    To put on/ give oneself airs To be/ get too big for one’s boots To be/ get too big for one’s britches To get a swelled head To have one’s nose in the air Arrogance will soon be the shortfall of this iconic company. They need to be more consumer savvy and stay away from the courthouse. I still hate Apple Maps, can't be a rep with it! Thanks Google

  • tilovonbrandis - 2012-10-30 14:54

    Normally all Apple articles mention the number of sales of their products. No amounts of iPhone 5 sales anywhere to be found on Google that are later than beginning of October. Only sales fIgures to be found except about the 5 MIllIon pre-pre-release ordered sales. I wonder why...

      attie.mostert.9 - 2012-10-30 15:15

      Hence "Apple boots out Maps boss" this is not a sales article. pfft

  • terry.burne - 2012-10-30 18:20

    The apple fan-boys are just a tad embarrassed by this! LOL.

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