Dissatisfaction among sales staff and the debacle over Apple Maps has led to two high-profile departures from Apple.
In a decisive move, chief executive Tim Cook has let go of John Browett and Scott Forstall. Cook has redistributed responsibilities to other key executives in the company.
Browett, who was brought in only six months ago to lead the company’s retail chain of shops was dismissed from the company. He was charged with the task of improving the chain’s profit margins, however, many staff voiced concerned over his style of leadership. The former head of electronics retailer Dixons, reduced staff number (before Cook reversed the decision) riling staff member more keen on focusing on giving great customer service.
In a statement on its website, Apple said a search for a new head of retail was underway and in the interim, the retail team will report directly to Tim Cook.
“Apple’s retail organisation 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 revolutionise retailing with unique, innovative services for customers,” Apple said somewhat codedly.
The other big departure was Forstall, who had been with the company since 1997 and the return of Apple founder Steve Jobs.
Forstall was one of the key people behind the development of iOS. It is rumoured that Forstall’s favoured approach to an ornamental style of design (as seen with the faux leather look of the OS X Calendar app) was at odds with the hardware team’s more stripped down approach to hardware design.
The departures mean that in addition to his other duties, Jony Ive, head of industrial design would now have responsibility for “human interface” across Apple. Eddy Cue, senior vice president of internet software and services, will take responsibility for Apple Maps and Siri. Craig Federighi, who is responsible for the firm’s desktop OSOS X, will also look after iOS.
“We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history,” said Cook. “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.”