Massive executive shakeup at Apple: Scott Forstall leaves

Massive executive shakeup at Apple: Scott Forstall leaves

Apple today suddenly announced that they would be undergoing a massive executive shakeup, and that Scott Forstall (Senior VP of iOS) and John Browett (head of retail) will be leaving in 2013.

The changes are likely to be huge for the company and will mean that iOS/Mac OS X is likely to see massive shifts in where they’re heading in terms of the user interface. Scott Forstall has been at Apple since 1997, and is widely regarded to be the reason for skeuomorphism throughout iOS and Apple.

Jony Ive will be in charge of UX for both software and hardware and has been given the title of director of Human Interface across the company in addition to Senior VP of Industrial Design.

Bob Mansfield will lead a new group called “technologies” which is very curious since Apple says the role is managing “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.” What’s most interesting about this move is Mansfield was planning to retire from Apple before being swiftly retained, and this cements his position at the company.

Eddy Cue will take on Siri and Maps, and Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X going forward. Apple says this move will help unify software strategy across the two platforms; we think 2013 will turn out to be very interesting for Apple.

It’s not clear from the release why Forstall is leaving, but it’s likely due to the bad public reception of Apple Maps and the unimpressive performance of Siri in the market.

The Verge reports that the general sentiment at Apple’s retail division is “tears of joy” at news of Browett leaving since he was not generally liked at the company. Apple is now on the hunt for a new retail chief.

This news is a huge shift for the company and marks the beginning of what could be a significantly different direction for the company going forward.