Two Executives Dismissed as Apple’s CEO Tim Cook Shows Zero Tolerance for Slip-Ups
CEO Tim Cook embarked on a senior management shake-up in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) as the company announced on Monday that two executives will be leaving their positions.
**Apple Boots Out Two Executives**
John Browett, the famous “Tesco academy” graduate and former Dixons executive, has been “shown the door” out of the world’s most valuable company only six months after he was appointed.
Despite the rise in sales and the opening of more Apple stores, it has been reported that Mr Browett stirred up unhappiness in the company after he advocated changes to staffing, including the cutting of hours and a freeze on the hiring of new employees. Shortly thereafter Apple backtracked on the new policies, calling them a “mistake”.
“This guy was a diametric opposite of what the Apple stores are trying to do,” said Charlie Wolf, an analyst at Needham & Co, as quoted by Bloomberg. “The question is not that he was dismissed, but why was he hired.”
The other top executive to leave is mobile software head Scott Forstall, a protégé of Steve Jobs himself and the person responsible of overseeing the software running the iPhone and iPad. According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, Mr Forstall’s ambition for more power at the company had long been apparent but the shambolic launch of Apple’s maps service in September provided the catalyst for his dismissal. In addition to that Bloomberg reported that several senior executives have left Apple because they found working with Forstall was too difficult. He also refused signing a letter apologising to the public for the mapping service’s numerous flaws. Tim Cook had to sign the letter instead. “Forstall was effectively a component of friction in Apple’s otherwise very collaborative senior management structure,” said Mr Wolf.
Paving the Way for Jonny Ive
!m[Hurricane Sandy Delays Market’s Response to The Management Shuffle](/uploads/story/688/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)In the Monday announcement Apple also said that Jonathan Ive will be taking charge of “leadership and direction for Human Interface across the company” – code for extending his influence from hardware to software and making him virtually the first overarching product chief since Mr Jobs’ death. “This change makes Jony the creative integration point for both hardware and software, which was one of the most important roles that Steve played,” said Bob Borches, former Apple executive and current venture capitalist at Opus Capital.
Furthermore Mr Forstall’s two main responsibilities have been divided between two executives – recently promoted Mac software boss Craig Federighi will be taking on the iOS and services head Eddy Cue will be overseeing the maps and Siri services.
“The real story is that they’re trying to consolidate around Jony Ive,” commented Mr Munster on the management shuffle.
**iTunes Launch To Miss Deadline**
“The new iTunes is taking longer than expected and we wanted to take a little extra time to get it right,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr told Macworld. “We look forward to releasing this new version of iTunes with its dramatically simpler and cleaner interface, and seamless integration with iCloud before the end of November.”
The new iTunes will be radically redesigned and focus heavily cloud hosting, making it possible to play your music on any device you own. Other new features include preview history, recommendations from the iTunes store and the Up Next option, which allows the user to adjust what music will play next. The software was supposed to be released by the end of October.
Apple were forunate (or shrewdly calculated it) that the recent announcement of the major changes in the company’s executive body and the iTunes delay overlapped with the Sandy hurricane disaster, which closed the New York Stock Exchange for two days this week. Shares of Apple have been left untouched from their Friday closing price of $604.00 but as trading once again resumes today, investors’ sentiment on this week’s news is finally expected to weigh in.