Apple has announced a major management change at the exceedingly successful company. Several senior executives are leaving, being replaced by a core team of even more senior executives. The moves demonstrate how important a harmonious, and collaborative work environment is to an organization—large or small. It also may be a way of enforcing a “work together, or work somewhere else” management philosophy, and help solidify the power structure at the company being run by Steve Job’s successor, Tim Cook.
Apple announced the changes as a way to increase “collaboration” across its hardware, software and services groups.
“We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The amazing products that we’ve introduced in September and October, iPhone 5, iOS 6, iPad mini, iPad, iMac, MacBook Pro, iPod touch, iPod nano and many of our applications, could only have been created at Apple and are the direct result of our relentless focus on tightly integrating world-class hardware, software and services.”
Those executives taking on more responsibility are Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi. Those being asked to leave are Scott Forstall, an Apple veteran who for several years ran software development for Apple’s iPad and iPhone products, and John Browett who has been running Apples retail operations.
The New York Times is reporting that Forstall was “known as ambitious and divisive, qualities that generated more friction within Apple after the death of Mr. Jobs, who had kept the dueling egos of his senior executives largely in check.” The paper sited Forstall’s refusal to sign a public apology around the release of its iPhone 5, dismissing reported problems as exaggerated, with CEO Tim Cook signing a letter of apology alone. The paper also reports on rumors that Forstall and Jony Ive’s relationship had soured to a point that the two executives would not sit in the same meeting room together.
Browett’s departure is being linked more to a series of missteps in the retail group, rather than an issue of management style. This past August, Browett announced a cutback on staffing at the Apple Stores, only to have that plan retracted by Apple in a public apology for the announcement. Apple is saying that it is currently searching for a new head of retail. CEO Cook will lead the operation in the interim.
Eddy Cue will take over development of Apple maps and Siri, Jonathan Ive, will take on more software responsibilities at the company by providing more “leadership and direction for Human Interface.” Craig Federighi, will also lead development of iOS, the software for iPads and iPhones. Bob Mansfield, who was planning to retire from Apple, will lead a new group, Technologies.