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Apple shifts out two executives

Axe falls in wake of problems
Tue Oct 30 2012, 09:42
Apple chief executive Tim Cook

GADGET DESIGNER Apple has announced a few executive changes with the exit of its heads of IOS software and retail.

Scott Forstall will leave Apple next year, and until then will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook. No reason for his departure was given. John Browett, who joined the firm from Dixons this year with a reported £36m handshake, is also off. Apple said that it is searching for a new head of retail.

Other changes will see Apple pull its hardware and software teams closer together. Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi will have more responsibilities, according to Apple's statement.

Ive, who designs the look and feel of Apple's hardware will work with Apple's Human Interface teams. Eddy Cue will take control of the combined Siri and Maps development teams, following Apple's launch of a weak mapping application. Craig Federighi will lead both IOS and OS X software development.

Mansfield takes up a new role, head of technology. Technology, said Apple, will unite its wireless and semiconductor teams. There was talk of some ambitious plans in this area.

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

There are some big changes there, including John Browett's departure and what looks like a reaction to the bungled Maps launch. These suggest that Cook, who assumed the CEO role after Steve Jobs' death, is starting to put his mark on the firm.

"Our retail stores are all about customer service, and John shares that commitment like no one else we've met. We are thrilled to have him join our team and bring his incredible retail experience to Apple," said Cook in announcing Browett's appointment in March.

Earlier this month Cook was rueing lost sales for the firm's Ipad as his firm's financial results fell short of analysts' expectations.

"It's clear that customers delay purchases of tablets due to new product rumors. These intensified in August and September," he said.. "Some of that was anticipated, some of that I wish didn't occur, but it did occur."

Cook might also be fuming about Maps, and specifically having had to apologise for it.

The Wall Street Journal has sources claiming that Forstall refused to sign the apology, leaving Cook no alternative but to sign it himself.

"While we're improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app, " he wrote in a frank admission.

"Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard."

Apple has no other comment today. µ


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