Well, Apple is seemingly sheltered from doing wrong when it comes to profits, but close followers of the company know better. The company, like any company, has its low points as well, and both Siri and Maps are certainly under that classification. And now, heads are rolling for past sins. Apple chose a day where the NYSE was closed in order to publish some incredibly potent news about its management layout today. Executive management changes across the board are going to morph Apple into a tighter company internally, with more divisions reporting to fewer people -- and in theory, working more closely. Of course, this also puts more duties on fewer shoulders, so it'll be interesting to see how the folks in charge hold up under duress.
As part of these changes, Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi will add more responsibilities to their roles. But that's not the core news. The core news is that the Senior Vice President of iOS development, Scott Forstall, is leaving next year. Evidently, Scott refused to sign the apology letter that went out earlier in the year regarding the horrendous Maps implementation in iOS 6. That left CEO Tim Cook to sign it, and as you might imagine, such a thing wasn't great for Scott's career. Scott has spent 15 years at the company, but he'll be on the outs next year. Taking his place? No one. Instead, Apple will just add more duties to people already in the upper ranks.
Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design. He's the guy responsible for the beauty in Apple's unibody MacBook products, and he may soon have a say in the UI seen in iOS. Eddy Cue will take on the additional responsibility of Siri and Maps, which is no small feat given that he already oversees iCloud, iBookstore and the App Store. Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X. You may wonder how this is possible, but it's true that OS X has been borrowing more and more from iOS in recent iterations. Bob Mansfield will lead a new group, Technologies, which 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." In other words, don't be shocked to see even more custom silicon coming from Apple itself.
Closing things out, Apple is also kicked John Browett to the curb. He was brought in early in the year after a stint as CEO of Dixons, a large electronics chain in the UK. Clearly that culture didn't mix, and after he tried to cut staffing of Apple's blossoming retail shops this summer, it became clear that he didn't have a future at experience-oriented Apple.
When the dust settles, Apple will have fewer people in charge of more things. That level of focus could be a boon, but that amount of pressure could cause cracks in the seams. For Eddy Cue, managing the mess of Siri and Maps will be no small feat. He may see "promotion" on the paysheet, but it'll probably feel like a step back in terms of quality of life.