(By Balaseshan) Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) said its senior vice president of iOS Software, Scott Forstall, will be leaving the company next year and will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook in the interim.
Scott Forstall, a long-time lieutenant of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, was asked to leave following years of friction with other top executives and his recent refusal to take responsibility for the mishandling of the Apple's much-criticized mapping software, Reuters reported citing to people familiar with the situation.
Sources told Reuters that Forstall refused to sign a public apology after Apple's mapping product, which displaced the popular Google Inc.'s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Maps on the iPhone and the iPad in September, contained embarrassing errors and drew fierce criticism. Instead, Cook signed the letter last month.
Additionally, Apple's senior vice president of retail John Browett is leaving. A search for a new head of Retail is underway and in the interim, the Retail team will report directly to Tim Cook.
Apple said the executive management changes will encourage even more collaboration between the company's world-class hardware, software and services teams. As part of these changes, Jonathan Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi will add more responsibilities to their roles.
The tech giant's senior vice president of industrial design, Jonathan Ive, will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design.
Eddy Cue will take on the additional responsibility of Siri and Maps, placing all of online services in one group. The online services has overseen major successes such as the iTunes Store, the App Store, the iBookstore and iCloud.
Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X. 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 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.
AAPL closed Friday's regular session at $604. The stock has been trading between $363.32 and $705.07 for the past 52 weeks.