Less than one week after Apple announced its brand-new iPad mini, the company has announced that two members of its executive team are leaving Apple.
The most important executive to leave, Scott Forstall, Apple’s Senior Vice President of iOS Software, is going to leave the company at some point next year. Until then, he will be reporting to CEO Tim Cook and acting as an advisor for Cook until his departure.
Secondly, John Browett, Senior Vice President of Retail, is leaving Apple. The press release that Apple sent out doesn’t say exactly when the newly-minted Apple executive is leaving, but it says that “A search for a new head of Retail is underway and in the interim, the Retail team will report directly to Tim Cook.” I’m taking this to mean that Browett, the former Dixons Retail CEO, is already gone – which is surprising, considering that he was hired just this year. Then again, there was a big controversy when he was hired since, apparently, he wasn’t doing a good job as the CEO of the UK’s Dixons Retail chain – and maybe that transferred over to Apple, as well.
Additionally, Sir Jonathan Ive, KBE, Apple’s Senior VP of Industrial Design, will be taking the place of Scott Forstall in Apple’s executive lineup. In addition to his Industrial Design role, he will be responsible for “Human Interface” leadership and direction, which means that he will be designing both the hardware and the software for all of Apple’s iDevices.
Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue, and Craig Federighi will also be adding additional roles to their jobs, which, according to Apple, “will encourage even more collaboration between the Company’s world-class hardware, software and services teams.”
John Browett’s abrupt, possible termination aside, this is surprising news to me. At one point, Scott Forstall was thought to be a candidate for the late Steve Jobs’ replacement. Obviously, the title later went to Tim Cook, but Scott was still doing some amazing work at Apple – and will continue to do so until he leaves next year.
I can’t say I’m disappointed in any way, though. The rest of the executive team, like most Silicon Valley executive teams, is made up of incredibly intelligent people, so I’m sure it will be able to produce some more quality products. In fact, I’m particularly interested to see what kind of new UI Jony Ive could come up with in the future.
I guess we’ll find out at the next major iOS release event.