Apple announces departure of SVP of iOS, Scott Forstall and SVP of retail, John Browett

Apple announced today that Scott Forstall, senior vice-president of iOS, and John Browett, recent SVP of retail, are leaving the company. Forstall, who came to Apple from NeXT when Steve Jobs returned to the company, will stay on until next year as an advisor to Tim Cook. John Browett sounds like he's leaving far more immediately. Jony Ive, Eddy Cue, Craig Federighi, and Bob Manfield will be divvying up a lot of their duties. Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, said in the press release:

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, iOS 6, 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.

While it's impossible to separate fact from fiction from simple politicking, Forstall had reportedly been a strong personality at Apple, and was rumored to have been butting heads with Jony Ive, among others, over the direction of Apple design. He was also in charge of the troubled launches of both Siri, which suffered repeated network and reliability problems, and iOS 6 maps, whose geographical data issues turned into a public relations problem for Apple. The press release certainly reads more as a welcome for Ive in his new roll than anything resembling a grateful farewell to Forstall for his work to date.

Jony Ive, longtime SVP of Industrial Design, will take over Human Interface across Apple.

His incredible design aesthetic has been the driving force behind the look and feel of Apple’s products for more than a decade.

Eddy Cue, promoted to SVP of Internet and Services following the ill-fated MobileMe launch, which take on Siri and Maps.

This organization has overseen major successes such as the iTunes Store, the App Store, the iBookstore and iCloud. This group has an excellent track record of building and strengthening Apple’s online services to meet and exceed the high expectations of our customers.

Craig Federighi, who took over OS X following the departure of Bertrand Serlet, will also take on iOS.

Apple has the most advanced mobile and desktop operating systems, and this move brings together the OS teams to make it even easier to deliver the best technology and user experience innovations to both platforms.

Bob Mansfield, who left his post as SVP of Hardware Engineering, only to return as SVP of [nothing specified] will now lead a new group called Technologies.

[Technologies combines] all of Apple’s wireless teams across the company in one organization, fostering innovation in this area at an even higher level. This organization will also include the semiconductor teams, who have ambitious plans for the future.

Apple will conduct a search to replace Browett as the head of retail. Browett was the subject of controversy recently when cuts to Apple store staff and rumored shifts in priority led to some embarrassing publicity and backpedaling.

[In] the interim, the Retail team will report directly to Tim Cook. Apple’s Retail organization has an incredibly strong network of leaders at the store and regional level who will continue the excellent work that has been done over the past decade to revolutionize retailing with unique, innovative services for customers.

Source: Apple PR

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.