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Forstall, Browett out at Apple


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Forstall, Browett out at Apple
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SpecMode
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2012-10-29, 16:14

Here's the press release.

Well, the writing was probably already on the wall for Browett after the whole staffing brouhaha, but I can't say I saw the Forstall thing coming (at least, not at this particular moment). Wasn't there some talk about friction between Forstall and other execs recently?
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Brave Ulysses
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2012-10-29, 16:15

Incredible but not surprising.

forstall's power play apparently failed, and Browitt was a mistake from day 1.

http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/29/3...-leaving-apple
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Dave
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2012-10-29, 16:18

Two threads enter... one thread leaves...
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Brave Ulysses
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2012-10-29, 16:23

Well since I started mine:P

This is huge.

Apple definitely rushed this out knowing the Hurricane news and the markets announcing they would be closed again tomorrow.

I wouldn't be surprised if these guys didnt even know until today.

Forstall definitely became a problem and there were many leaks leading up to this. And he became a symbol of Apple overhyping/promising and underdelivering with Siri and Apple Maps.

Interesting tidbit is that Ives is now the director of software user interfaces. Could be good or terrible... but one thing is for sure... Forstall's obsession with software mimicking real life is gone.... thank god.
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Stallion
 
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2012-10-29, 16:30

Shocking news with Forstall. Business Insider painted him as a total ass bag, but many also thought he was the CEO in waiting. I'm shocked.

What do you think that means? Do you think this is because he's an ass and causes trouble? I recall several execs wouldn't work with him. Or, do you think it's performance related? Could this mean that Apple thinks iOS is falling behind?!?

The Browitt hire was dumb to begin with. Hire from within, in my opinion. Trust your talent and mentoring system. Next man up is the right philosophy in most cases, in my opinion.

...and calling/e-mailing/texting ex-girlfriends on the off-chance they'll invite you over for some "old time's sake" no-strings couch gymnastics...
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Brave Ulysses
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2012-10-29, 16:36

Lots of shit seems to be going on behind the scenes... starting when Mansfield tried to leave and then was convinced to stay..... publicly.
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Brad
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2012-10-29, 16:37

Forstall is the one who had been behind the horrible skeuomorphic designs in recent years, right? Then good riddance.
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Brave Ulysses
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2012-10-29, 16:37

yea.

Quote:
Inside Apple, tension has brewed for years over the issue. Apple iOS SVP Scott Forstall is said to push for skeuomorphic design, while industrial designer Jony Ive and other Apple higher-ups are said to oppose the direction. "You could tell who did the product based on how much glitz was in the UI," says one source intimately familiar with Apple’s design process.
http://www.fastcodesign.com/1670760/...cause-a-revolt

No surprise that Ives won that one.
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Brave Ulysses
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2012-10-29, 16:44

Gotta respect Tim Cook for having the balls to do this. Forstall goes all the way back to the early 90s with Jobs/Next and came to Apple with Jobs in 97 and Jobs obviously thought a lot of him.

and Browett was a bad choice.... good to see quick action to correct bad decisions.

Tough to recover from stuff like this though. And they are really milking the existing executive staff for everything.
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SpecMode
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2012-10-29, 16:46

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Forstall is the one who had been behind the horrible skeuomorphic designs in recent years, right? Then good riddance.
Seconded. I cringe every time I'm forced to use Contacts or accidentally launch the Calendar app.
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addabox
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2012-10-29, 16:48

I always wonder about high profile failures and their consequences, within an organization like Apple.

I mean, certainly Siri and Maps were over-promised and under-delivered, and sure Forstall was in charge of those efforts, but I can't imagine major initiatives such as those just sort of happen in Scott's Secret Lab and he occasionally checks in with Tim and Tim goes "So we're cool with the magic software?" and he's all like "absolutely boss, magic as hell" and then they release them and they have problems and Tim is all like "FORSTAAAAAALLLLL!!!!! YOU'RE IN BIG TROUBLE NOW!!!!"

You know? If Maps wasn't ready I would have thought there would be some kind of checks and balances in play, and if it was behind schedule and Forstall wasn't getting it done, we should have never known about-- as opposed to just releasing the thing as is and letting the chips fall where they may.

At any rate, clearly the Browett piece is good news, and speaks well of Apple's ongoing commitment to the Store experience (although what the decision to hire him in the first place meant is less clear).

I guess being willing to admit you made a mistake and correcting it is a good thing, and all, but even better would to be to not make so many mistakes.

That which doesn't kill you weakens you slightly and makes you less able to cope until you're completely incapacitated
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2012-10-29, 16:51

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Originally Posted by addabox View Post
I guess being willing to admit you made a mistake and correcting it is a good thing, and all, but even better would to be to not make so many mistakes.
Exactly. This reflects both well and poorly on Tim Cook as CEO. Financially it has been a stellar year.... but there have definitely been a lot of poor decisions and problems.... in public... who knows what is going on behind the scenes. The Mansfield thing at the time really stood out to me, and now it does even more.
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Yontsey
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2012-10-29, 16:52

I completely agree with this. Some of the built in iOS apps in the last couple updates have been awful to look at aesthetically.
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nikstar101
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2012-10-29, 16:53

Yikes. This really does concern me. Like someone mentioned firstly Mansfield and now Forstall (and the knobber Browett). While I can see Browett was completely the wrong person for the job and therefore his departure cannot come too soon and does not surprise me in the least the other two do worry me.

If I remember correctly both Mansfield and Forstall are Jobs' people, hired under Jobs and followed him around Apple. So after Steve departs Apple you have Mansfield wanting to retire and Cook begging him to stay and now you have Fostall leaving. Forstall was a big thing in getting iOS out the door and followed Steve from Next.

This is quite a big shake up. I mean if you think that iOS wasn't progressing, that's fine you bring in more talent to help shape it, you don't just fire the top man?!!! And just because Johnny is good at hardware design is not guarantee that he can do software design. Yes maps was a cock up but Apple had to do it or forever be stuck on Google Maps therefore they had no choice. And do you really fire someone over the faux leather look of apps?!!

Was Browett a Cook hiring or Jobs?

Edit: Also previously Apple had a very flat structure with lots of heads of departments where now they are combining a lot of roles therefore they are ending up with a hierarchical organisation. There will only be a couple at an execs meeting compared to a previously larger number. Will that change the way Apple makes decisions?

Edit 2: since Forstall is staying for a year, it's sounds more like he is having a managed leave of Apple which would be slightly different to sacking. Maybe it's a mutual thing?
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2012-10-29, 16:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikstar101 View Post
Was Browett a Cook hiring or Jobs?

Cook.


I echo your sentiments about Forstall. I personally didn't like him, I thought his success got to his head and I believed every report of him being a dick and power hungry. But he is very much responsible for Apple's success and was a Jobs guy since 1993 or something crazy like that. Jobs could be a dick too.


Lots of executive disorder and uncertainty for a company putting up the numbers Apple is. A little weird.
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Brave Ulysses
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2012-10-29, 17:27

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Team,

We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history. The amazing products that we’ve introduced in September and October – iPhone 5, iOS6, 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.

Today, I am announcing changes that will encourage even more collaboration between our world-class hardware, software and services teams at all levels of our company. As part of these changes, Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue, and Craig Federighi will be taking on more responsibilities. I am also announcing that Scott Forstall will be leaving Apple next year and will serve as an advisor to me during the interim. I want to thank Scott for all of his many contributions to Apple over his career.

Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his longtime role as the leader of Industrial Design. Jony has an incredible design aesthetic and has been the driving force behind the look and feel of our products for more than a decade. The face of many of our products is our software and the extension of Jony’s skills into this area will widen the gap between Apple and our competition.

Eddy Cue will take on the additional responsibility of Siri and Maps. This places all of our online services in one group. Eddy and his organization have overseen major successes such as the iTunes Store, the App Store, the iBookstore and iCloud. They have an excellent track record of building and strengthening our online services to meet and exceed the high expectations of our customers.

Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X. We have the most advanced mobile and desktop operating systems on the planet, and bringing together our OS teams will make it even easier to deliver our best technology and user experience innovations to both platforms. Craig recently led the very successful release of Mountain Lion.

Bob Mansfield will lead a new group, Technologies, which combines all of our wireless teams across the company in one organization, allowing us to innovate in this area at an even higher level. This organization will also include all of our semiconductor teams, who have some very ambitious plans. As part of this, I am thrilled to tell you that Bob will remain with Apple for an additional two years. Bob has led some of our most challenging engineering projects for many years.

Additionally, John Browett is leaving Apple. Our search for a new head of Retail is already underway. In the meantime, the Retail team will report directly to me. Retail has an incredibly strong network of leaders at the store and regional level, and they will continue the excellent work they’ve done over the past decade to revolutionize retailing with unique, innovative services and a focus on the customer that is second to none. This phenomenal team of talented and dedicated people works their hearts out making our customers happy. They have our respect, our admiration and our undying support.

Please join me in congratulating everyone on their new roles.

I’d like to thank everyone for working so hard so that Apple can continue to make the world’s best products and delight our customers. I continue to believe that Apple has the most talented and most innovative people on the planet, and I feel privileged and inspired to be able to work with all of you.

Best,
Tim

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Brave Ulysses
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2012-10-29, 17:32

How does Apple handle Forstall leaving and not getting snatched up by Google?

Forstall must have incredible knowledge of Apple's plans and obviously has also accomplished a lot. He is a very desirable hire for many companies.....
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chucker
 
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2012-10-29, 17:35

Forstall always bugged me. He seemed far more concerned with style than with substance.

Not sure UI design is quite Ive's forte, though.
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torifile
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2012-10-29, 17:35

I am very pleased with this news. The 2 areas of failure for Apple in the past year has been the retail screwup and Maps. Otherwise their execution has been nearly pitch perfect. It also shows that Cook is firmly in control of the company and he's not afraid of having things seem less than perfect. Jobs wouldn't have stood for either of those failures and, it seems, neither will Cook.
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chucker
 
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2012-10-29, 17:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
How does Apple handle Forstall leaving and not getting snatched up by Google?
They don't; by and large, no-compete clauses are void in California. Nothing they can do.
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Brave Ulysses
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2012-10-29, 17:39

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They don't; by and large, no-compete clauses are void in California. Nothing they can do.
Especially risky move in that case.
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chucker
 
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2012-10-29, 17:43

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Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
Especially risky move in that case.
Sure, but by that logic, you can't ever let talent go. 'sides, who's to say that if Amazon or Google (or, heck, Microsoft) were to hire him, he'd move past his flaws?
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Brave Ulysses
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2012-10-29, 17:48

You are suggesting that this is like letting go of anyone. He was a top level executive who had been mentioned as a potential CEO candidate. He was/is involved with Apple's products and decisions at the highest level and likely "knows all". Knowledge alone about concepts, product pipeline, strategies is pretty valuable. His flaws don't matter. The stuff he knows and has knowledge of is priceless.
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Mac+
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2012-10-29, 17:50

Echoing tori's comments about Cook's deciciveness and chucker's on Forstall being more concerned with style over substance.

It will be interesting to see what the consolidation of Ive's, Cue's, Federighi's and Mansfield's teams yield - but, at first glance, it seems a logical restructure.

As an aside, I find the political machinations of large organisations fascinating, as too the communication of such changes and think we're privileged to be able to get a glimpse of this. What times.
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Brave Ulysses
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2012-10-29, 18:00

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Originally Posted by Mac+ View Post
Echoing tori's comments about Cook's deciciveness and chucker's on Forstall being more concerned with style over substance.

It will be interesting to see what the consolidation of Ive's, Cue's, Federighi's and Mansfield's teams yield - but, at first glance, it seems a logical restructure.

As an aside, I find the political machinations of large organisations fascinating, as too the communication of such changes and think we're privileged to be able to get a glimpse of this. What times.
It's going to make an amazing book at some point when one of these guys retires and decides to spill it all.
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chucker
 
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2012-10-29, 18:06

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
You are suggesting that this is like letting go of anyone. He was a top level executive who had been mentioned as a potential CEO candidate. He was/is involved with Apple's products and decisions at the highest level and likely "knows all". Knowledge alone about concepts, product pipeline, strategies is pretty valuable. His flaws don't matter. The stuff he knows and has knowledge of is priceless.
Sure, but that knowledge he can't share. Apple can't claim ownership of his personal expertise or bar him from working for a competitor, but he can't export trade secrets, knowingly or otherwise, and competitors would be well-advised to run away screaming from any suggestion that they should base a strategy on his inside knowledge. Taking advantage of the wisdom he's gained, OTOH? That's fair game. But it would be for someone of any corporate level.
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Brave Ulysses
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2012-10-29, 18:11

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Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Sure, but that knowledge he can't share. Apple can't claim ownership of his personal expertise or bar him from working for a competitor, but he can't export trade secrets, knowingly or otherwise, and competitors would be well-advised to run away screaming from any suggestion that they should base a strategy on his inside knowledge. Taking advantage of the wisdom he's gained, OTOH? That's fair game. But it would be for someone of any corporate level.
That is not enforceable. And even it were, it is impossible for his knowledge not to influence his future business decisions and/or innovations.

Just look at Eric Schmidt.
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psmith2.0
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2012-10-29, 18:26

Interesting, out-of-the-blue development. I'm sitting in a Subway prior to heading to the plant and just saw this at DF and Appleinsider and immediately jumped over here to 'Nova...you guys were already on it!

I'd expect nothing less.

Was Forstall involved with the new iMac in any way? Because now it all makes perfect sense...I'd fire his silly ass too!
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Brave Ulysses
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2012-10-29, 18:27

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Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
Was Forstall involved with the new iMac in any way? Because now it all makes sense...
Unfortunately I think that is an example of Ives driven decisions....
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torifile
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2012-10-29, 18:35

But he can't be indispensable. Between the Maps situation and Siri, Forstall had 2 high profile black eyes. Add in the personality nonsense and he had to go. I was worried it wouldn't happen.
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