Apple’s Senior Vice President for iOS, Scott Forstall was asked to quit Apple and it was not his decision. The 15-year Apple veteran, who joined Steve Jobs at Next during his exile from Apple and came with him to lead the OS X team, was heading the iOS team that is responsible for more than half of Apple’s revenues. However, he refused to sign the public apology after the latest bungle with Maps in iOS, claims a WSJ report.
According to the report, Cook and other senior management wanted him to offer a public apology but he was of the opinion that the company could fix the situation without apologizing like Apple had done with the iPhone 4’s “Antennagate” episode. Apparently, other senior executives did not agree with Forstall and eventually Tim Cook had to sign the humiliating apology letter. What Forstall probably did not remember was after that episode, Mark Papermaster – the senior executive responsible for the iPhone’s hardware was also asked to leave the company soon after. Probably Forstall did not anticipate Cook to fire him considering his position and clout inside the company.
Forstall, who at 42 was the youngest senior executive at Apple, was also considered as one of the heir-apparent after Steve Jobs stepped down and passed away. However, multiple reports have claimed him to have problems with other senior executives with Johny Ive and Bob Mansfield reportedly refusing to meet him without Tim Cook’s presence. He is also said to be a polarizing figure in the company and is known to claim all the credit for success while deflect blames of failure on others. Probably, this was one time too many especially after Siri, which was his project as well, failed to work as expected with Google Now offering a better user experience.
Forstall’s departure would no doubt be a huge blow for Apple considering he was responsible for developing iOS since its beginning. However, this also provides Cook to inject some new blood in the smartphone operating system, which is showing signs of aging after over five years of its launch. This would also help silence Cook’s critics, who believe it is not him but a band of senior executives that run the company now after Steve Jobs and there is no one person to take decisions.