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Apple's Forstall Let Go for Refusing to Apologize for Maps

By - Source: WSJ | B 26 comments

Apparently Scott Forstall's departure was not a happy one.

Apple yesterday announced a reorganization that would see iOS software chief, Scott Forstall, leave the company in 2013. Apple revealed that Forstall would be replaced by Craig Federighi, who is set to manage both the iOS and OS X divisions, but the company didn't say much about why Forstall was leaving. However, it has since emerged that Forstall was apparently pushed out of the company after he refused to apologize for Apple Maps.

The Wall Street Journal cites people familiar with the matter that say Forstall was asked to leave the company because he refused to sign a letter apologizing for issues with Apple's recently launched Maps application. The New York Times reports much the same -- that Forstall was asked to leave after refusing to sign an apology letter to Apple Maps users. However, NYT also reports that Forstall, described as ambitious and divisive, had been generating friction at a post-Jobs Apple and his dismissing the Apple Maps problems as exaggerated played a 'major role' in his firing.

In late September, CEO Tim Cook posted a public apology letter in response to criticism over Apple Maps. While Cook said the application would get better with time and use, he also said that Apple was 'extremely sorry' for the frustration caused to customers.

Yesterday's reorganization also saw John Browett, the head of Apple's retail unit, leave the company with immediate effect. Additionally, Jony Ive will take on "leadership and direction for Human Interface across the company," as well as continuing in his role as lead designer. Eddy Cue will now oversee Siri and Maps as part of a new "online services" sector, which includes iTunes, iCloud and Apple's digital stores.

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  • 24 Hide
    cracklint , October 30, 2012 6:57 PM
    Might as well let the whole QA dept. go and the CEO for putting their stamp of approval on it as well. They knew it was unfinished and they still shipped the phone with it loaded. I don't blame Forstall, I wouldn't be the scape goat either; typical corperate BS.
  • 23 Hide
    mikuri , October 30, 2012 6:56 PM
    The problem is that they ditched Google Maps which is the ULTIMATE map app.
    Fire the person who made this decision. Your app Map app sucks hard time Apple.
  • 19 Hide
    gmarsack , October 30, 2012 6:51 PM
    Apple... always looking to find the cause of the issue... not the solution. How is asking for an apology from one person going to solve the problem? Apple, you suck...
Other Comments
  • 19 Hide
    gmarsack , October 30, 2012 6:51 PM
    Apple... always looking to find the cause of the issue... not the solution. How is asking for an apology from one person going to solve the problem? Apple, you suck...
  • 23 Hide
    mikuri , October 30, 2012 6:56 PM
    The problem is that they ditched Google Maps which is the ULTIMATE map app.
    Fire the person who made this decision. Your app Map app sucks hard time Apple.
  • 24 Hide
    cracklint , October 30, 2012 6:57 PM
    Might as well let the whole QA dept. go and the CEO for putting their stamp of approval on it as well. They knew it was unfinished and they still shipped the phone with it loaded. I don't blame Forstall, I wouldn't be the scape goat either; typical corperate BS.
  • 7 Hide
    kracker , October 30, 2012 6:58 PM
    f*k, I will never buy a iSuck
  • 12 Hide
    iknowhowtofixit , October 30, 2012 7:00 PM
    Apple should just give him a new title: iScapegoat.
  • 9 Hide
    Jerky_san , October 30, 2012 7:22 PM
    Hell I wouldn't of signed it either.. They probably forced it to be released against his wishes..
  • 8 Hide
    TeraMedia , October 30, 2012 7:32 PM
    @cracklint is partly right. While Forstall may or may not have signed off on shipment readiness, Cook still had the ultimate decision to say "go" or "no go". He said "go", and then followed it up with an apology to users. Not quite the same as what Jobs would have done, but at least he acknowledged that there is a shortcoming in their product that they need to fix. If Forstall said, "We're not ready yet" and they forced him to ship anyway, then the problem lies with Cook. If Forsall said, "Yes, we're ready! Ship this puppy!" then like it or not, he deserves the boot.
  • 1 Hide
    stormblade42 , October 30, 2012 7:42 PM
    I knew it. Somewhere, deep inside the Apple main fortress, there is a secret room where Jobs appears (because he went Dark-side and found out a way to exist after death, like Obi-wan). He was thus called forth and paid the price for his insolence... I can imagine Jobs appearing in a hooded cloak like the Emporer would! LOL
  • 4 Hide
    matt_b , October 30, 2012 7:42 PM
    Although it does sound like ego could have played a role here, this is proof that no matter how many rights a person gets (especially given Apple's success from what this guy has achieved), one wrong makes none of that matter. Given it has been a bit of a comical topic for the outsiders on the map issue, it would have been more constructive to have concentrated efforts looking for a fix instead of a scapegoat.
  • 6 Hide
    ddpruitt , October 30, 2012 7:45 PM
    Forstall's just the scapgoat.

    EVERYONE new that it was a piece of trash, but they have an all Apple policy which meant they got rid of Google at all costs. My guess is Forstall let them know in a none PC (ie this sucks) sort of way and he got fired for it.
  • 8 Hide
    guideclive , October 30, 2012 8:01 PM
    Would be interesting to hear Forstall's point in this.
  • 5 Hide
    curiousclive , October 30, 2012 8:08 PM
    Why couldn't he have done the apology in Apple's now famous way like they apologized to Samsung.
  • -5 Hide
    curiousclive , October 30, 2012 8:08 PM
    curiouscliveWhy couldn't he have done the apology in Apple's now infamous way like they apologized to Samsung.

  • 2 Hide
    slabbo , October 30, 2012 8:29 PM
    curiouscliveWhy couldn't he have done the apology in Apple's now famous way like they apologized to Samsung.

    I would have loved to have seen that, then mass email it everywhere. Give them a taste of their own medicine.
  • -6 Hide
    nebun , October 30, 2012 8:30 PM
    probably he was the one that messed up the maps application....what an idiot....he deserves what he got...about time
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , October 30, 2012 8:37 PM
    OMT! (Oh my Tom's!)
    The the autoriti on on Apple meh (typos to reflect reality).

  • 0 Hide
    hoofhearted , October 30, 2012 8:42 PM
    Why didn't they just do the right thing and put Google maps back? Problem solved! Or even the next best thing and buy out the Navigon (Garmin), MotionX or Mapquest app.
  • 10 Hide
    WhyFi , October 30, 2012 9:24 PM
    The company with a long history of not apologizing or acknowledging screw ups fired someone for not apologizing?
  • -1 Hide
    f-14 , October 30, 2012 10:34 PM
    T I T A N I C
    Quote:
    ICE BERG AHEAD SOUND COLLISION
  • 2 Hide
    house70 , October 30, 2012 11:27 PM
    There is more to this story, as Forstall was Jobs' favorite boy, some say his successor. Jobs took his side before in matters generating frictions, and after the "master" died, the apprentice got the boot.
    Who knows, and ultimately who cares. He'll land on his feet, I'm sure, if he's half as ambitious as they make him sound to be.
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