Report: Scott Forstall fired; wouldn't apologize for iOS 6 Maps

On Monday, Apple made the surprise announcement that Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice president for its iOS division, would leave the company in 2013. However, it appears that the real story of his departure is based on the the company's botched launch of the iOS 6 Maps software.

The map project, which replaced Google Maps as the default map app for iOS 6 products in September, was slammed due to its inaccurate data and warped map images. A week after its launch, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent out an open letter which openly apologized for its launch to iOS 6 customers.

Now The Wall Street Journal reports that Forstall got himself fired from Apple because he refused to sign a letter which would have him admit to issues with the iOS 6 Maps launch. Forstall had worked for Apple for 15 years.

The story claims that there had been tensions between Forstall and other Apple executives for some time and that overall his attitude didn't fit in with the rest of Apple. The iOS 6 Maps debacle was apparently the last straw.

Apple also said goodbye on Monday to its retail store leader John Browett after just five months on the job. The Wall Street Journal claims that Browett was also requested to depart the company.

Source: The Wall Street Journal | Image via The Amazing iOS 6 Maps

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Notice how both of these firings were announced while the Stock Market was closed due to Sandy?

Not a coincidence.

Hopefully this is the start of the apple backlash. apple is one company that needs to get knocked around a little. They have grown stale nd their fans are brainwashed zombies.

Sounds like he's being used as a scapegoat.
They had not long bought out C3 technologies (the original mapping company) and I highly suspect the Apple execs wanted to roll it out regardless of readiness just to give a bit stfu to Google.
They obviously want to shift the blame to him and I expect Forstall stated all the way to the end how it wasn't ready for release yet.


The story claims that there had been tensions between Forstall and other Apple executives for some time and that overall his attitude didn't fit in with the rest of Apple.

So basically he wouldn't bend over and take it like a good little Apple employee should. Good on him.

Cook : Please, sign here.
Forstall : Ok... hey, this paper says that i am completely responsible about ios maps.
Cook: Yes, sign please.
Forstall: I won't sign anything, you asked me to rush ios maps and i said you that it is not yet for prime time.
Cook: I don't like your attitude, sign or else...
Forstall: Or else what?. No, i won't sign.
Cook: That's it, you are fired.
Forstall: fine and good luck.

My problem is that in my area, EVERY town here is called Dewsbury.

Yes, Batley, Liversedge, Cleckheaton, Gomersal, Heckmondwike - all when you look at the address have been renamed "Dewsbury".

Who should really be blamed for any loss of public mind share? Was it Scott, for being unable to deliver a completely new and very complex application by a deadline without some issues? Was it the Google hating looney who decided to ditch Google Maps, a product that worked that people were already happy with and saw no need to change? Or maybe it was the nutjob salesman who built a cult by claiming they were perfect and infallible?

Apple has more issues than just Scott Forstall.

IronChef75 said,
Who should really be blamed for any loss of public mind share? Was it Scott, for being unable to deliver a completely new and very complex application by a deadline without some issues? Was it the Google hating looney who decided to ditch Google Maps, a product that worked that people were already happy with and saw no need to change? Or maybe it was the nutjob salesman who built a cult by claiming they were perfect and infallible?

Apple has more issues than just Scott Forstall.

But he refused to put his name to an open apology letter, arrogance

duddit2 said,

But he refused to put his name to an open apology letter, arrogance

Now The Wall Street Journal reports that Forstall got himself fired from Apple because he refused to sign a letter which would have him admit to issues with the iOS 6 Maps launch.

A letter to who? It doesn't say it was an open letter. I don't think consumers know or care who Scott Forstall is. Apple probably just wanted a legally binding admission of guilt. Was he being made a scapegoat?

IronChef75 said,

A letter to who? It doesn't say it was an open letter. I don't think consumers know or care who Scott Forstall is. Apple probably just wanted a legally binding admission of guilt. Was he being made a scapegoat?

Exactly, Apple have no respect or loyalty, they would have tried to make him release software that wasn't ready then make him apologise for it being crap thus making him a scape goat for all their problems.

IronChef75 said,
Who should really be blamed for any loss of public mind share? Was it Scott, for being unable to deliver a completely new and very complex application by a deadline without some issues? Was it the Google hating looney who decided to ditch Google Maps, a product that worked that people were already happy with and saw no need to change? Or maybe it was the nutjob salesman who built a cult by claiming they were perfect and infallible?

Apple has more issues than just Scott Forstall.

I can't help but notice you've posted in quite a few threads in a similar vain... I get that you don't exactly like Apple - so I'll take your "op ed" with a pinch of salt.

I don't ever recall Jobs saying that Apple was perfect or infallible. Or that they never made mistakes. I remember a number of apologies he made over the years for things they screwed up on - MobileMe for example.

Regarding Apple as a cult. I don't blame Apple for that. It's like anything - you get large enough, you'll get hardcore followers. Hell, Microsoft have their share of drooling fanboys too - last time I looked, people queued at Microsoft stores for launch events just the same way the Apple fanboys do - what makes Microsoft's cult following less creepy?

IronChef75 said,
Who should really be blamed for any loss of public mind share? Was it Scott, for being unable to deliver a completely new and very complex application by a deadline without some issues? Was it the Google hating looney who decided to ditch Google Maps, a product that worked that people were already happy with and saw no need to change? Or maybe it was the nutjob salesman who built a cult by claiming they were perfect and infallible?

Apple has more issues than just Scott Forstall.

Well, if you base an opinion off of the allegations, in Scott's mind, Maps was ready to ship. He refused to sign the open letter to customers apologizing for the mishap because he felt the allegations were overblown, so Tim Cook had to sign and release it instead.

omgben said,

Well, if you base an opinion off of the allegations, in Scott's mind, Maps was ready to ship. He refused to sign the open letter to customers apologizing for the mishap because he felt the allegations were overblown, so Tim Cook had to sign and release it instead.

Or maybe Forstall said that Apple Maps isn't ready for release, and thinks that as Cook was the person who pushed the software out the door, Cook should apologize.

"Forstall got himself fired from Apple because he refused to sign a letter which would have him admit to issues with the iOS 6 Maps launch." What? You mean during the launch event? Why even release Maps then?

15 years as an executive, probably with a fat stock option and serious severance pay on top of a princely paycheck? I'd be crushed while scrolling through Caribbean islands on sale.

dancress said,
15 years as an executive, probably with a fat stock option and serious severance pay on top of a princely paycheck? I'd be crushed while scrolling through Caribbean islands on sale.

Lol!! This ^

Who cares, I figured as much why would they announce a senior executive leaving in a few months, these extra months is just Scott being kept on the payroll in lieu of severance pay.

I have never liked Apple as a company and I'm not really a fan of their products, they're just too trendy for me.

minster11 said,
Apple is looking for scapegoat?

He is not a scapegoat. 15 year veteran can not be a scapegoat. He was responsible for the blunder and well-deserved it, particularly if he declined to take responsibility for it.

minster11 said,
Apple is looking for scapegoat?

He was in charge of the Maps for iOS project, and therefore assumes responsibility for the team working for him.

minster11 said,
Apple is looking for scapegoat?

Can't really assume what went on behind closed doors. It's a fact they had a deadline and decision not to have google apps, were there other individuals/forces other than Forstall to rush out this product? Maybe Forstall believed he wasn't solely responsible. More to come I bet.

Wouldn't apologizing be the honorable thing to do since it was a complete F bomb to release that app.

ingramator said,
Well at least he left with honor and didn't give into pressure from other executives, that is something we should admire.

ingramator said,
Well at least he left with honor and didn't give into pressure from other executives, that is something we should admire.

What honor? He committed professional 'harakiri'.. plain and simple.

moloko said,
Wouldn't apologizing be the honorable thing to do since it was a complete F bomb to release that app.

We don't know the whole story, that's probably why he's not on good terms with the other execs. He may have declared the software crap and not ready for release but forced to release it and that's why he wouldn't sign the doc apologising for Maps, because he declared it as not ready for release. You really never know.

ingramator said,

We don't know the whole story, that's probably why he's not on good terms with the other execs. He may have declared the software crap and not ready for release but forced to release it and that's why he wouldn't sign the doc apologising for Maps, because he declared it as not ready for release. You really never know.

I bet you he got fired because he KNEW about the map issues before it was released but didn't do anything about it.

superconductive said,

I bet you he got fired because he KNEW about the map issues before it was released but didn't do anything about it.

No. He came from the Steve camp. The current management just wants to maintain the franchise, make money annually, and won't sweat bad applications, hardware, etc.

I'm sure he didn't "apologize" because he knew Steve wouldn't. It's much more likely he knew it wasn't ready, said so, and they went ahead with the release anyway.

I've seen this before, after the collapse of the Star Trek franchise, inch by inch, after Roddenberry died. The franchise was put in the hands of accountants who milked it for a long, slow lingering death.

The internal cannibalization of Apple has begun, folks.

Shiranui said,
Did he manage to find his way off the premises?

He will still be there for some months....giving handover to Tim Cook.