Apple’s executive shake-up — Forstall, Browett are out

Apple today announced executive management changes that will encourage even more collaboration between the Company’s world-class hardware, software and services teams. As part of these changes, Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi will add more responsibilities to their roles. Apple also announced that Scott Forstall will be leaving Apple next year and will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook in the interim.Additionally, John Browett is leaving Apple. A search for a new head of Retail is underway and in the interim, the Retail team will report directly to Tim Cook.


  • Jeff

    “…changes that will encourage even more collaboration” Not too difficult to read between the lines there. Wow, indeed.

  • samdchuck

    With Scott Forstall out I hope they tone down this skeuomorphism nonsense.

    • chjode

      Wasn’t there a story about how he was a huge fan of the skeuomorphism and Jony Ive hated it and ever since, the two have been at odds?

      • DT

        Two men enter … one man leaves.

        • chjode

          Apple execs should prepare their bodies for the Thunderdome. That is the new law.

  • WTF Scott Forstall is leaving Apple?!?!?!?!

  • Digital_Possibilities

    I’m not surprised the John “Dixons is an awful store” Browett is out, but that Forstall has gone, that’s a big surprise. Well, I suppose if no one wanted to work with him, it’s better for the long run…

  • Browett was never a good fit and it looks like Forstall has paid the price for the Maps problems.

    • quietstorms

      I think the issue is deeper than Maps. You don’t fire someone of his stature on just one thing.

  • chjode

    I assume Forstall is taking the hit for Maps (he probably oversold it to even the executive team) and after Browett was forced to reverse his “pay cuts for everyone!” plan, I’m not surprised.

    That said, I sure hope to see lots of new features for iOS 7. iOS 6 was incremental at best.

    • Not necessarily. Forestall is out of his own volition – note that he’ll be around as an “advisor” to Cook. You only do that if you want the guy to hang around.

      Contrast that with the description of Browett. He’s out immediately. No doubt he was fired/let go/resigned.

      • rattyuk

        I wonder if Tony Fadell will return?

        • Nope. He’s happy at NEST for the time being.

        • KumaranVijayan

          I doubt Fadell will return. I also doubt it will happen, but it’s neat to imagine Ron Johnson returning from JCP.

      • chjode

        Good point, though Forestall’s resignation does seem to come at an odd time.

        That said, it just occurred to me that Apple announces two executive changes at a time when the stock most definitely won’t be affected by it. Clever.

        • Not that odd. Apple just released new products so that cycle is done. It’s before the holidays….Makes sense from Forestall’s POV, I’d assume.

          • chjode

            Or, he may have given some sort of ultimatum or had a contract thing that ended at the end of the year and this is a way to ease him out. Either way, it seemed clear he was going to go no higher at Apple.

      • I don’t buy it. If Forstall were leaving on his own, he’d have somewhere to go. The advisor role is just a ruse. Probably to let some stock vest or something and not screw him over.

        • “If Forstall were leaving on his own, he’d have somewhere to go. “

          How do you know he doesn’t?

          People have to be careful about making statements based on a lack of information.

          And don’t think for a second that as soon as he’s available, a thousand Silicon Valley headhunters won’t be beating down his door to hire him for any number of companies.

          • “People have to be careful about making statements based on a lack of information.”

            It doesn’t seem to have stopped you in some of your earlier replies 🙂

      • I think “advisor” is a euphemism. Like you pointed out, non-competes aren’t enforceable in CA but you can certainly pay someone to do nothing. They would probably prefer that to having someone with his inside knowledge going up to Mountain View.

  • I’m really interested to see what happens to UI under Ive.

  • Adriano Geletes

    So much for calling Forstall the next Steve Jobs like CEO! What is going at Apple? Stock is falling and this is not going to help.

    Isn’t Scott Forstall too important because of his insights at Apple. If I were one of Apple’s competitor, I would do everything to hire Forstall.

    • “Isn’t Scott Forstall too important because of his insights at Apple.”

      And what “insights” might those be?

      • Adriano Geletes

        Seriously? Being SVP of iOS software, he did have some insights in hardware coming in the near future, software changes for OS X and iOS, etc.

        • I’m a little confused as to your post so let me ask a question to see if I can clear it up.

          Are you saying that, because of Forstall’s “insights”, Apple shouldn’t let him leave?

          • xynta_man

            Well, he has a point. Some companies continue to pay wages of their “ex-employes” for something like 10 years, just so they won’t work in the industry for that time, potentially giving up internal secrets. I doubt that Forstall was such a man, thought.

          • Adriano Geletes

            No, please let him go, I don’t care about Forstall at all. I just had the opion that people like Forstall are too important for companies like Apple because of their insights (secrets), so Apple would do anything that those guys stay at Apple.

    • quietstorms

      It was always Ive who was going to be close or have the same power as Jobs. Jobs made sure that Ive never had to answer to anyone.

  • Mother Hydra

    IS this a result of Forstall being famously difficult to work with as comments suggest, or has he moved to greener pastures? Browett always seemed to me more of a runner-up than a bigtime score in the exec camp over at one infinite. Johnson languishes outside Apple and a parade of forgettable and unremarkable people helm one of the most powerful retail brands in the world. Yeah that is mighty worrisome turnover.

    • “IS this a result of Forstall being famously difficult to work with as comments suggest, or has he moved to greener pastures?”

      Those are just rumors and there are no reports as to where Forestall is going.

      • Hypothesard

        I wonder if Angry Mac Bastards will dare to say that Forstall Got the boot because his laser-eye was responsible for melting bridges and shit.


        PS : Maybe Forstall will go away and make a company like NeXt and get wiser, until then he’ll be on retainer for Cook…

    • The release says Forstall is leaving “next year” and will be “serving as an adviser to Tim Cook in the interim” which means he was fired and is being paid severance to go quietly into the night.

  • Mother Hydra

    I’m not convinced Ive is the guy for the job when it comes to UI. we shall see…

    • quietstorms

      We’ll have to see how it goes. It certainly seems that Ive is the closest to accumulating the power that Jobs had.

  • kvanh

    Hmmm, i wonder if any of this is why Mansfield decided to stay.

    • It’s less that Mansfield “decided to stay” and more “Cook convinced him” to stay. And yeah – Mansfield wouldn’t have stayed without knowing some of this future.

  • tylernol

    forstall for maps fiasco, browett for his staff cut BS. Sounds good to me.

    • LOL But “sounding good” and “being true” are not the same thing. 🙂

      • tylernol

        true. I’ll run with that theory though until I hear something more plausible.

        • OK, here you go. Scott Forstall was NOT fired. Not for the “maps fiasco” or any other reason.

          If you fire the guy, you don’t let him stick around as an advisor, as Apple/Cook are doing. Look at Browett. He ain’t advising anyone on anything. He’s gone.

          • Steven Fisher

            You MIGHT be reading too much into that, Shawn. The advisor approach can also be a way of firing someone with nasty clauses in his contract.

            Then again, maybe not. It’s not like I know. 🙂

          • Perhaps. But certainly no more so than those reading “he was fired!” into it.

            And it’s not like Browett wouldn’t have the same kinds of clauses in his contract, right?

          • Adriano Geletes

            So why does he leave Apple? To “serve as an advisor to Tim Cook” means what to you? That’s just a nicer way of saying, he is fired, but because of his history at Apple (15y), we won’t fire him the Browett-way.

          • “So why does he leave Apple?”

            He leaves Apple because he knows he’s not going any further in the company. Only job left for him is Cook’s.

          • tylernol

            nope. HE was forced to resign. He did not sign the Maps apology letter. He is sticking around for a year “as an advisor” to sit out his noncompete, it’s a formality. He probably wont set foot on Apple’s campus again.

          • “to sit out his noncompete..” What noncompete? You mean, the noncompete that he didn’t sign because, under CA state law, they are unenforceable?

            Maybe you should get your facts straight.

          • Herding_sheep

            Shawn, lets just look at what happened when other previous Apple execs legitimately resigned. With Bertrand Serlet, Apple made a press release dedicated entirely to him, allowed him to have a quote in the release, and thanked him for his work in the PR. Essentially the same thing for Bob Mansfield as well when he announced retirement.

            What did they do for Forstall? They had a much broader press release, talking about restructuring the company in a positive light. In that long press release, there was only one short sentence stating that Forstall is leaving.

            If that doesn’t look to you like Forstall was shown the door, then idk what to tell you. Being an advisor is a polite way of not embarrassing a high ranking executive who companies still maintain respect for. Browett was not such a figure, Forstall is given his history.

            Also consider the fact that Bertrand Serlet got to hand pick and train his successor, while Forstall is just leaving abruptly, as a little blurb in a larger press release. It’s quite obvious what happened to him.

  • Dave Moore

    Forstall’s out! Hallelujah! Maybe they can find someone who uses decent grammar to replace him.

  • Adriano Geletes

    I think it’s more than just iOS Maps, that SF has to leave. iOS hasn’t change in the last 5 years, Passbook isn’t working (at least not here in Germany), the new iOS App Store is just crashing on my iPad (3rd gen) and on my iPod touch (4th gen). But still, I love the iOS Design. It’s absolutely beautiful compared to other OSes. But maybe he was an asshole towards his colleagues believing to be the next Steve Jobs.

    • samdchuck

      What do you mean “Passbook isn’t working”? you mean it actually isn’t functional or no-one is making passes for it/supporting it? The only place I’ve used it for (and only thing I know that uses it here) is for going to the movie, and it works just fine for that, not amazing, but does what it’s supposed to do.

      • Adriano Geletes

        I am sorry for the misexplanation. I have tried Passbook as a developer and I really liked the idea of using Passbook, but unfortunately the whole way they annouced and implement Passbook right into iOS6 was just a big joke. They announced PB for iOS6 without having any passes available. At least Apple could have worked on a plattform like iBooks Author to make it easier to develop passes – not even Apple tried to develop passes for their own customers. So to me, their was no effort behind PB compared to iBooks or iTunes – although the market is huge.

        I am missing the effort – that is the reason why Forstall has to leave Apple – IMO.

        • kibbles

          so PB “isn’t working” because there were no passes on launch? im not sure that logic works.

          • Adriano Geletes

            Again, as I have said “isn’t working” was the wrong way of describing my thoughts on PB. The app is working, but I clearly don’t see any effort in making PB as big as iTunes or iBooks.

    • tylernol

      iOS has changed a lot. Just maybe not the overall UI look and feel. Neither has OSX. If it was designed right in the first place, why redesign it every release cough Android cough ? As for the skeumorphism in certain apps…yeah it can be horrible. Just look at “Find My Friends”… awful. If Forstall was really behind that, and Ives will push iOS towards something more like Metro, I am happy.

      iOS6 seems solid, never heard of App store crashes Passbook is a new thing, just like Newstand was 2 years ago. It will take time to be adopted. I think there was a trial with some stadium and passbook for tickets and the adoption rate was quite high, I think it will eventually work.

  • Well the next few generations of iOS will be interesting

  • Felix Stanek

    Is it just me

  • Forstall out? NOW do we get to say ” Wouldn’t have happened if Jobs was still around”?

  • NOW do we get to say “Wouldn’t have happened if Jobs was still around”?