Apple reportedly fires head of Maps team

Apple has reportedly fired the manager in charge of iOS 6 Maps, Richard Williamson. Williamson lead the mapping team that was responsible for the new, heavily criticized maps app that debuted in September. The dismissal of Williamson is one of Eddy Cue’s first major actions since being put in charge of maps in the management shakeup last month. Cue is said to be looking to TomTom to fix its landmark data as well as talking to mapping experts outside of Apple about how to be improve the experience. Apple has been hard at work fixing problems in Maps since the release of iOS 6. In a report from Bloomberg reports:

A team at Apple has been working to fix the mapping mistakes, focusing first on some of the most glaring problems, one person said. The satellite imagery over the U.K. has been improved and labels for popular U.S. landmarks such as the Washington Monument have been corrected.

A shakeup of this kind is not unexpected. When Scott Forstall was ousted last month, many speculated that it was due to the issues with Maps, but ultimately it was more to do with internal politics than one issue with one piece of software, as serious as those issues were. As the leader of the Maps team, Williamson was responsible for making sure Maps was done on time. Yes, Maps is a 1.0 product, but there is a minimum level of quality that a product this important has to have before it’s released to the public, and Maps wasn’t there for a lot of people. The mapping team needs to be able to make improvements to Maps rapidly in order to turn it into the product that it should be, and if Williamson wasn’t the right person to lead this team, then Eddy Cue needed to let him go and find someone that he could count on to get the job done.

Source: Bloomberg