Massive executive shakeup at Apple: Scott Forstall leaves

Apple today suddenly announced that they would be undergoing a massive executive shakeup, and that Scott Forstall (Senior VP of iOS) and John Browett (head of retail) will be leaving in 2013.

The changes are likely to be huge for the company and will mean that iOS/Mac OS X is likely to see massive shifts in where they're heading in terms of the user interface. Scott Forstall has been at Apple since 1997, and is widely regarded to be the reason for skeuomorphism throughout iOS and Apple. 

Jony Ive will be in charge of UX for both software and hardware and has been given the title of director of Human Interface across the company in addition to Senior VP of Industrial Design.

Bob Mansfield will lead a new group called "technologies" which is very curious since Apple says the role is managing "all of Apple’s wireless teams across the company in one organization, fostering innovation in this area at an even higher level. This organization will also include the semiconductor teams, who have ambitious plans for the future." What's most interesting about this move is Mansfield was planning to retire from Apple before being swiftly retained, and this cements his position at the company.

Eddy Cue will take on Siri and Maps, and Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X going forward. Apple says this move will help unify software strategy across the two platforms; we think 2013 will turn out to be very interesting for Apple.

It's not clear from the release why Forstall is leaving, but it's likely due to the bad public reception of Apple Maps and the unimpressive performance of Siri in the market.

The Verge reports that the general sentiment at Apple's retail division is "tears of joy" at news of Browett leaving since he was not generally liked at the company. Apple is now on the hunt for a new retail chief.

This news is a huge shift for the company and marks the beginning of what could be a significantly different direction for the company going forward. 

Here's the press release from Apple:

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.

“We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history”

“We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “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.”

Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design. His incredible design aesthetic has been the driving force behind the look and feel of Apple’s products for more than a decade.

Eddy Cue will take on the additional responsibility of Siri® and Maps, placing all of our online services in one group. This organization has overseen major successes such as the iTunes Store®, the App Store‚Ą†, the iBookstore‚Ą† and iCloud®. This group has an excellent track record of building and strengthening Apple’s online services to meet and exceed the high expectations of our customers.

Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X®. Apple has the most advanced mobile and desktop operating systems, and this move brings together the OS teams to make it even easier to deliver the best technology and user experience innovations to both platforms.

Bob Mansfield will lead a new group, Technologies, which combines all of Apple’s wireless teams across the company in one organization, fostering innovation in this area at an even higher level. This organization will also include the semiconductor teams, who have ambitious plans for the future.

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. Apple’s Retail organization has an incredibly strong network of leaders at the store and regional level who will continue the excellent work that has been done over the past decade to revolutionize retailing with unique, innovative services for customers.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

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no surprise that iOS UI is so much worst and subtle changes over the years.

Apple product is the very nice but software user interface just doesn't seem to as compelling
as iPhone or Mac.

Finally, Apple quickly realize that they need someone who really good at designing something and apply it to the software.

Ivy head of software ux, **** just got good!

I guess Apple took one look at Windows phone and thought, wtf have we been doing.. i'm expecting big things.

Uplift said,
Ivy head of software ux, **** just got good!

I guess Apple took one look at Windows phone and thought, wtf have we been doing.. i'm expecting big things.

I thought his name was Ive.

Iridium said,
Human Interface...... um is Cannonical going to sue?

Hardly as Apple already owns "Human Interface" (see HIC). It's just a matter of time until Apple is going to sue Cannonical^^

Never heard of the guy but well I don't follow Apple much. However if this guy was anything like the Joe Belfiore of Apple, another nail in the campany's coffin.

My only question is what was the reason for the crack about the hurricane on the front page? While, yes, there is a hurricane heading towards the northeast, it is only going to affect a geographically small section of the country, and Apple's headquarters are all the way on the other side of the country, completely unaffected by the storm. I realize the author of the article here is not from the US, but please try to show a little more knowledge of geography, OK?

Not completely unaffected. It's a well known trick that when announcing news that might rattle the public or the markets, do it when they are not looking. In other words, announcing this when everyone's concentrating on the hurricane and Wall St. is closed is a very cunning thing to do. Shame Microsoft managed to pull the same trick with Windows Phone 8 without trying.

I'm very excited by these changes and what could become of iOS and OS X. Right now, I love the features of both operating systems, but I'm not much of a fan of skeuomorphism, and I much prefer the kind of look and feel Microsoft are starting to implement. I've heard that Jony Ive doesn't like the skeuomorphism either, so I do hope that is the case and he will influence Tim Cook to allow him to release completely redesigned software. I don't hold out much hope of that happening, though.

Considering some of Ive's designs (as he more or less designed all of Apple's hardware for over a decade) I doubt that he will switch from skeuomorphism to oversimplification and 8bit colors...

MFH said,
Considering some of Ive's designs (as he more or less designed all of Apple's hardware for over a decade) I doubt that he will switch from skeuomorphism to oversimplification and 8bit colors...

A design that includes 8-bit colours isn't the opposite of skeuomorphism. There's a reason I now have an iPhone 5 and that's because I'm not sure whether I completely like Microsoft's new design philosophy. I like many elements of it, and I like it more than Apple's in general, but I'm not sure whether I like all of the solid colours and the lack of gradients and shadows.

Calum said,

A design that includes 8-bit colours isn't the opposite of skeuomorphism.

To a certain degree it is as you're unable to imitate the real world with 8bit color in a convincing way... (Which in my book is key for real skeuomorphism.)

MFH said,

To a certain degree it is as you're unable to imitate the real world with 8bit color in a convincing way... (Which in my book is key for real skeuomorphism.)

That doesn't make it the opposite to skeuomorphism, it just means skeuomorphism is impossible to achieve using only 8-bit colours A design that doesn't include skeuomorphism is entirely possible using a full range of colours, gradients, shadows etc.

After watching that fiasco last week aka the new product introduction I'm not surprised this is happening, to be honest. Instead of preaching up their newest generation of hardware at that event, Schiller spent more time actually lambasting the previous generation of products more so than ever before in the history of Apple product introductions. I was stunned at the choice of language used, the actual words coming out of his mouth were unbelievable when he basically called the previous generation products - including the iPad 3 which is barely 7 months old - "garbage" compared to the latest and greatest.

Man, things sure have changed at Apple. They have finally become exactly what they hated the most when they were founded; Apple has become "Big Brother" with respect to the level of maniacal control and narrow-minded attitudes they've cultivated over the decades.

"Think Different" sure took a long time to become "Think Like Us... Or Else."

TrekRich said,
Cannot say i am sorry to see John go, dixons have the worst customer service.

Yes it was a baffling decision to hire him in the first place. He was clearly more motivated by bottom line than customer satisfaction and Apple stores were beginning to take alarming steps backwards so a relief he's going

Sir Ive is a hardware guy, be interesting to see if he can turn his amazing talent to software design. He has the magic eye so i am sure he will do great

TrekRich said,
Sir Ive is a hardware guy, be interesting to see if he can turn his amazing talent to software design. He has the magic eye so i am sure he will do great

Because the hardware is always flawless and never has issues...

The guy is nothing special.

Yeah, a highly decorated individual, who has designed some of the most iconic devices for the past three decades is nothing special, especially compared to you.

Oh, wait.

omgben said,
Yeah, a highly decorated individual, who has designed some of the most iconic devices for the past three decades is nothing special, especially compared to you.

Oh, wait.

Just a Rams wannabe.

I'm a Windows user but now that Ivy is in charge of UI, maybe OS X won't feature skeuomorphic design, which people say he isn't too fond of.

Hopefully whoever is going into UI design will realize it's not 2001 and decide to get rid of the skeumorphic design principles they've been using for over a decade now.

Enron said,
Not going to happen unfortunately.

You have no idea, right?
Read up about Forstall and Ive.
You'll realize that's one of the core differences.

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

You have no idea, right?
Read up about Forstall and Ive.
You'll realize that's one of the core differences.

GS:mac

Ok, I believe you, but could you call me when they take out all the silly sound effects from slide to unlock, email whooshing away, stitched leather backgrounds, book shelves, notebook paper, credit cards in a wallet, etc.

Do they have reel to reel tape in iTunes yet?

E:univac

devHead said,
Hopefully whoever is going into UI design will realize it's not 2001 and decide to get rid of the skeumorphic design principles they've been using for over a decade now.

I agree, but the average apple fan actually believes these "features" are pretty cool. A friend even told me my kindle was lame cos on his ipad he could turn the pages!

Seems a bit odd that a hurricane would be hitting Apple - aren't they based on the West Coast (normally the wrong one for hurricanes)? Besides, while Sandy started life *as* a hurricane*, it technically is a "nor'easter" (don't blame me, as I didn't make that call - blame the National Hurricane Center @ NOAA, who did - http://nhc.noaa.gov). All the more troublesome for *me* - not to mention NOAA HQ - as Sandy's about to sit on us for the next two days (I live in the suburbs of Washington, DC - from us to Philly are about to get seriously sat on by Sandy).

"The Verge reports that the general sentiment at Apple's retail division is "tears of joy" at news of Forstall leaving since he was not generally liked at the company."

That should read BROWETT, not Forstall. Forstall wasn't in Retail. And knowing more than a few people in Apple Retail, I can tell you that is absolutely the case. They are jumping for joy on that news.

KeR said,
This is good news, Johny Ive going to do UI...yes!

don't be too fast on that trigger happy thought of yours... this might not be good for Apple.

virtorio said,
I didn't see that coming.

That said, this could be very good. I hate Scott Forstall and Johhny Ive is awesome.

I personally didn't like Scott's UI vision, hopefully Johnny will clean it up

Rudy said,
I personally didn't like Scott's UI vision, hopefully Johnny will clean it up

Hopefully? You betcha.

Ive's been a constant opposer of Forstall's ideas and concepts.

GS:mac

Not surprised by Scott Forstall leaving, iOS6 was a bit of a let down and he didn't seem to be driving iOS into any new innovative directions. But Jonny Ive overlooking UI? Surely he's got enough on his plate designing the hardware!

DomZ said,
Not surprised by Scott Forstall leaving, iOS6 was a bit of a let down and he didn't seem to be driving iOS into any new innovative directions. But Jonny Ive overlooking UI? Surely he's got enough on his plate designing the hardware!

Bear in mind it's not just Ive designing the hardware. He heads up an entire design studio. Maybe they've got to the point where he's got enough talent in there now that they can run without him for longer periods of time, so he can begin work in this new area now?

"Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design. His incredible design aesthetic has been the driving force behind the look and feel of Apple's products for more than a decade...."

szo said,
"Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design. His incredible design aesthetic has been the driving force behind the look and feel of Apple's products for more than a decade...."


This is probably the best, at least ONE of the best things to happen to Apple since Job's comeback and Microsoft's rescue of Apple in the late 1990's.

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

This is probably the best, at least ONE of the best things to happen to Apple since Job's comeback and Microsoft's rescue of Apple in the late 1990's.

GS:mac


I'd say as long as Microsoft is focused on over-simplification and a 8bit color palette it's the best thing that could happen to PCs in general...

Where are they going? I think they're going to work on Ubuntu because 2013 is definitely the year of the Linux desktop.

Enron said,
Where are they going? I think they're going to work on Ubuntu because 2013 is definitely the year of the Linux desktop.

haha

Enron said,
Where are they going? I think they're going to work on Ubuntu because 2013 is definitely the year of the Linux desktop.

Nah. 2013 is the year for Windows Phone. I know we've been saying that for two years. But third times a charm. Right? Right?

Fingers crossed don't want to look like an idiot now.

Enron said,
Where are they going? I think they're going to work on Ubuntu because 2013 is definitely the year of the Linux desktop.

im going to go ahead and laugh out loud at your joke of 2013 being year of linux desktop.

Enron said,
Where are they going? I think they're going to work on

Ubuntu because 2013 is definitely the year of the Linux desktop.

hahahahahahahhahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Enron said,
Where are they going? I think they're going to work on Ubuntu because 2013 is definitely the year of the Linux desktop.

If Windows 8 is going to fail then its because Windows 8 represents a change. Selling PCs with Linux isn't going to fix that. People might be confused how to get to their old applications in the new WIndows 8 UI but not being able to install those applications on Linux isn't going to make it easier on them.

No doubt that someone will try to push Linux PCs, Valve will probably help promote them but calling it 'the year of' means a high rate of succes. Small chance.

GOOD that Browett is getting canned. That putz was responsible for the fiasco with the part-timers and word is he was trying to turn Apple Retail into the Wal-Mart of electronics. Not surprising, given his background at Dixon's in the UK.

SiLeNtDeAtH said,
GOOD that Browett is getting canned. That putz was responsible for the fiasco with the part-timers and word is he was trying to turn Apple Retail into the Wal-Mart of electronics. Not surprising, given his background at Dixon's in the UK.
I agree with you, he should have never been hired to begin with

paulheu said,
And so it begins..

You don't even have a clue about these executives, do you?
SEEMS like you just wanted to drop a hater line
Of course I'm open to anything you want to tell me that would back up your opinion how getting rid of Forstall and Browett is bad for Apple and/or their customers.
Really, I'd love to know, because I personally am RAVING about these news...

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

You don't even have a clue about these executives, do you?
SEEMS like you just wanted to drop a hater line
Of course I'm open to anything you want to tell me that would back up your opinion how getting rid of Forstall and Browett is bad for Apple and/or their customers.
Really, I'd love to know, because I personally am RAVING about these news...

GS:mac

I think you've been trolled...

IMO Apple displays a conflict of design style and language. On the one hand there is the minimalistic approach on hardware design and on the other hand there is the lavish additions of real life representations of the apps, such as use of texture and things like stitched leather in the calendar app. These two clash.

It now seems the minimalistic camp has won but tbh I wonder how Ive will now dictate how the UI looks. He seems to have been able to push the hardware design as far as being more important then being able to fit innovative hardware components. If it don't fit his device design it's not going in.

This will cause iDevices to stagnate and stay behind the rest of the field as they are. Seeing how Apple have not even been able to catch up wit their 2012 line up something had to give and don't be surprised if we'll see a much more *cough*metro*cough* styled interface and user experience in the coming year(s).

No doubt they'll be able (or at least try) to spin it as innovation and ground breaking design, but it's been done before (again).

It's like I said.. And so it begins..