Apple on Monday announced the departure of its iOS software head Scott Forstall, in an unexpected move that was reportedly prompted by Forstall's refusal to sign a letter Apple issued last month apologizing for its faulty new Maps app in iOS 6.
According to a report Monday from the Wall Street Journal, Forstall, whose official title at Apple was senior vice president of iOS Software, had been working for years on Apple's new Maps app as a replacement for Google Maps. But when Apple's new Maps app made a disappointing debut among iOS 6 users, who claimed it was brimming with data inaccuracies, Forstall refused to apologize, the Journal said, citing "people familiar with the matter."
Apple CEO Tim Cook disagreed with Forstall's decision and ultimately issued and signed a letter on his own, apologizing for the new app's shortcomings. The letter was posted on Apple's website.
The Journal's sources said Forstall's kerfuffle with Apple execs over the new Maps app was one of several clashes between the two over the past few years. Forstall, who had worked closely with late Apple CEO Steve Jobs and was largely considered a potential successor for the CEO role, reportedly irked Apple senior execs by flaunting his relationship with Jobs, the Journal said, and by being uncooperative at times.
Forstall reportedly claimed that there was no "decider" at Apple after Jobs stepped down from the CEO role in August 2011.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment but said in a statement yesterday that Forstall will continue to serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook before he officially leaves the company next year.
Apple also announced Monday the departure of retail chief John Browett. The Journal reported that Browett was asked to leave the company after he "failed to fit in." Apple said in a statement that a search for a new retail head is already underway and that the company's retail team will report directly to Cook in the interim.
Additionally, Apple announced that Eddy Cue, head of Apple's Internet services, will oversee development of Apple Maps and Siri; Jonathan Ive, head of industrial design, will take on more software responsibilities and oversee Apple's "Human Interface" development; and Craig Federighi, head of Apple's Mac software development, will now also oversee the iOS group.
PUBLISHED OCT. 30, 2012