Heads are rolling at Apple this week. Apple CEO Tim Cook made sweeping management changes in the name of encouraging "even more collaboration" among the company's hardware, software and services teams.
Practically speaking, that means Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi are getting a heavier workload while Scott Forstall, iOS chief, and John Browett, head of the retail team, are leaving Apple.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting drama around Forstall. The Journal says Cook wanted him to sign an official apology letter to customers for the poor navigation and quality of Apple Maps and he refused.
"Mr. Forstall's departure came after mounting tension with members of Apple's executive ranks," the Journal reports. "For years, senior executives had complained that he wasn't cooperative and showed off his close relationship with Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs.
Cook Spins the Changes
In addition to the departure of Forstall, who was a Jobs protege who climbed the Apple ladder quickly before flaming out under Cook, Browett is also losing his job. However, no details are offered on whether he resigned or was fired.
Of course, Cook didn't mention any of the reported behind-the-scenes drama. Instead, he spun a positive story about Apple being in "one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products" in Apple's history.
In true Apple co-founder Steve Jobs style, Cook followed up his head rolling with a marketing statement: "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."
Loading Up Successful Execs
It seems good help is hard to find. The shake up leaves Federighi to lead both iOS and OS X. Cook must figure Federighi's leadership behind OS X -- along with the merging functionalities between the desktop and mobile operating system -- positions him well to lead the charge.
Meanwhile, Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface across the company. That's in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design. Apple says his design aesthetic has been the driving force behind the look and feel of its products for more than a decade.
Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, will heap Siri and Maps onto his plate. That puts all Apple's online services under his leadership. Cue has shown success with the iTunes Store, App Store, iBookstore and the iCloud.
Finally, Bob Mansfield will lead a new group, Technologies, which combines all of Apple's wireless teams across the company in one organization. This organization will also include the semiconductor teams, who have ambitious plans for the future.