Apple didn’t publicly say why Forstall and Browett have been shown the door but, in this case, you really don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Forstall presided over the Siri and Apple Maps messes, the latter prompting chief executive Tim Cook’s formal apology, while Browett cut staffing hours at Apple’s retail stores, an admitted mistake the vendor subsequently walked back.
It sure doesn’t seem take long to lose your key to the Apple executive washroom if you screw up on the iPhone.
Forstall, who came to Apple from Steve Jobs’ NeXT and is credited with shepherding a number of Mac OS X releases, will leave Apple next year, and in the meantime, will advise Cook. Browett, who was brought in only a few months ago, will depart immediately and, in the interim, Cook will assume his job while Apple looks for a replacement.
Of the four Apple execs adding responsibilities to their to-do lists, Mansfield’s situation is the most curious. The company’s former senior vice president of Hardware Engineering announced his retirement in June, then abruptly unretired in August to stay on in an unspecified capacity to work on future projects with Cook, now has an expanded role leading a new Technologies group that merges Apple’s wireless teams including semiconductors into one unit.
Let’s not leave it unsaid that Apple, hinting at the future, offered in a statement that its semiconductor teams “have ambitious plans,” tied undoubtedly to the vendor’s recent hiring of John Bruno, a former AMD (NYSE: AMD) hotshot noted for his work on the Trinity APUs as its new system architect, and Jim Mergard, Samsung’s chief engineer.
Additional parts of the reorganization will see Cue taking hold of Siri and Maps, as well as looking out for the iTunes Store, the App Store, the iBookstore and iCloud as the vendor houses all its online services in one group. Ive, in addition to his head position in Industrial Design, will provide “leadership and direction for Human Interface across the company,” Apple said. And Federighi, in August named senior vice president of Mac Software Engineering, now will lead iOS and OS X, according to the company.