Also leaving, after less than a year, is controversial retail chief and former boss of Dixons, John Browett. His replacement is currently being sought.
As part of the re-shuffle, Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue, and Craig Federighi will be given more responsibilities. And Forstall will go on gardening leave, or in Apple parlance ‘serve as an advisor to Tim Cook’ until his official departure next year.
‘We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history’, said Cook. ‘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.’
Craig Federighi, who replaced Bertrand Serlet as head of OS X software engineering last year, will add Forstall’s iOS responsibilities to his portfolio, while Ive will ‘provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design.’ And Eddy Cue will take charge of Siri and Maps.
Mansfield, who announced his retirement in the summer, only for Cook to persuade him to change his mind following an insurrection from engineers, will lead the new Technologies group which includes all of Apple’s wireless and semi-conductor teams.
Intriguingly, Apple said that the semiconductor teams ‘have ambitious plans for the future.’ It has long been rumoured that Apple would move away from Intel and use its own chips in the Mac.
Forstall’s departure isn’t unexpected. While he was once mooted as a potential successor to Steve Jobs, two of Apple’s most significant recent flops, Siri and Maps, were his responsibility.