Apple fires Maps manager


Richard Williamson, who oversaw the mapping team, was fired by Senior Vice President Eddy Cue, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information wasn’t yet public. Cue, who took over last month as part of a management shakeup, is seeking advice from outside mapping-technology experts and prodding digital maps provider TomTom NV (TOM2) to fix landmark and navigation data it shares with Apple.

Eddy is cleaning house.

  • Go Eddy.

  • The entire Maps situation is in desperate need of a Command + Z

    • quietstorms

      It’s in Eddy’s hands. He is like the Apple “Fix-It” guy.

      He better get paid a lot for what he does.

  • Williamson can at least be thankful he’s in the post-Jobs Apple. He would have been put in the stockade and publicly lambasted before being fired otherwise.

    • Franko65

      Me thinks had Jobs still been around, Williamson would never have gotten to the point of punishment, corporal or otherwise 🙂

  • innerspacerobot

    This sounds a little unfair. I bet he was pushed by VP’s who didn’t properly check his work, or understand what an undertaking it is to catch up to Google.

    I can’t for the life of me figure out why they didn’t offer Apple maps along side Google maps for a year so that customers could tell them all the issues, but not be upset by it. Perhaps a settings toggle switch to select which framework to use.

    The other stupid thing is that Apple are almost impervious to customer being able to quickly and easily send in corrections. Perhaps it’s that attitude that got them there in the first place.

    • scronide

      Most customers simply wouldn’t have used Apple maps if Google maps was preinstalled beside it. They would never have received the same volume of corrections and the product would never have the same potential to improve. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    • Nate

      It’s easy to send in corrections. There’s a link in the fold-away settings page. The problem is, they don’t seem to be doing much with it, and it’s not clear who gets the report. For example, it may be going to TomTom but it needs to go to Yelp.

      • Curmudgeon Geographer

        I have reported hundreds and hundreds of problems over the course of the many weeks since release. Not one damn issue has seen repair in the Maps app we see.

        I’m done. No more. Delays should not take this long. It is demoralizing to see no results from your reporting. So I’ve given up.

    • Player_16

      “I can’t for the life of me figure out why they didn’t offer Apple maps along side Google maps for a year so that customers could tell them all the issues, but not be upset by it.”

      That would be competing on the same platform. To do that, it would need to be kept ‘in-house’: never to be seen the light of day. Outside, plebes (us) would use the one we’re more familiar with + it would look like Apple’s copying the competition.

  • East Bay Jay

    I’ve submitted corrections several weeks/months ago, but none have been updated.

    That doesn’t exactly make me want to continue submitting.

    • David

      Me too, they appear to ignore new information??

  • GaryMulcahey

    I have not had one issue with Apple Maps. It has worked flawlessly for me every time I’ve needed it. Maybe I am just lucky but I fail to see the huge fail here. I imagine the software will have a few growing pains along the way.

    • Frank

      Lucky you. Won’t even start to explain what a mess Maps is where I live. Or maybe Apple thinks I do like to order my sandwiches in a car repair center?

      • GaryMulcahey

        I would chalk up my luck to me being a simple user. I look for directions and that’s about it. I guess if I was a power user I would find tons of issues. I will have to use maps for more than finding my way home and see what gives.

  • Apple’s biggest mistake with the Maps fiasco was about managing expectations. Nearly all of this could have been avoided by making a decision early on that there was no way in hell anyone could map the entire planet accurately and get everything right including transit data globally on the first release. Had they rolled out the new Maps app as a year-long beta, they could have made much, much better use of the massive amounts of goodwill that Apple customers have their products. I’m not say that those responsible for these mistakes have been sacked. But I am saying that if heads had to roll, those were the ones that had to go.

    • Jay Robinson

      Agreed. Many Apple users would have been happy —even eager — to help improve the product if Apple had shown a bit of humility. Apple had to do this somehow, but there were better ways to approach it.

  • LJMoloney

    I was in nor cal (Sacramento and Chico) over thanksgiving driving in unfamilar territory and the map app turn by turn worked fantastic day after day

  • Curmudgeon Geographer

    Does this mean problems people have been reporting for weeks will finally start showing up fixed in the map data?

    • interdev

      I dearly hope so. I have submitted so many corrections to obvious things that have not shown up on the maps I have given up sending any more

  • tyr

    Apple Maps is a LOT better where I am (Belgium) than the old Google maps. That said, Apple should be buying mapping data and donating it to Openstreetmap. That would both provide people with an easy way to fix errors and royally screw over Google.