Apple shuffles executive team: iOS chief, retail boss out

Apple vice-president for iPhone and iPad software is leaving the Cupertino giant, along with retail vice-president John Browett who heads up the firm's Apple Stores worldwide.

Scott Forstall, Apple senior vice-president for iOS software, will leave the company as part of a reshuffle of the company's executive management.

He will not leave immediately and will stay on and serve as an advisor to Apple chief executive Tim Cook in the interim the Cupertino, CA.-based technology giant said in a statement. Forstall will formally leave the company next year.

Forstall joined Apple in 1997, pegging his tenure at more than 15 years. He was responsible for iOS, the Apple-built mobile operating system that features in the iPhone, the iPad and the iPod touch. He recently came under direct fire by Apple product owners and the media after the Maps application was released with iOS 6 in September unfinished and full of bugs. 

Retail head John Browett will also leave the company, the firm added. Browett led the firm's push into China, a key market for the technology giant , but will leave a void in the firm's retail space. The retail team will report directly to Cook in the interim.

It comes only two years after his predecessor Ron Johnson left the company to join J.C. Penney. He almost infamously claimed in 2010 that there would be at least 25 stores in China by this year. At this time, there are six Apple retail stores in mainland China and a further two stores in Chinese-owned Hong Kong.

Along with the changes, Apple said vice-presidents Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi will add more responsibilities to their portfolio.

To wit:

  • Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple senior vice president of Industrial Design, will add "leadership and direction" for the human interface unit across the company, while retaining his ordinary duties as head of hardware design.
  • Eddy Cue, Apple senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, will now be responsible for Siri and Maps -- two of the 'failed' (at least by Apple's standard) products previously under Forstall's command -- and will also be in charge of the iTunes Store, the App Store, the iBookStore and iCloud.
  • Craig Federighi, Apple senior vice president of Mac Software Engineering, will lead the iOS software team effort -- along with being responsible for Mac OS X software.
  • Bob Mansfield, Apple senior vice president, will lead a new group only a few weeks after he announced he wouldn't in fact retire at the end of this year. Mansfield will now focus on Apple's Technologies team, including wireless teams, innovation, and include the semiconductor teams -- a chip-making focus that Apple has recently brought in-house.