Thoughts on Apple’s Executive Shakeup

News of Apple’s fires and promotions is unsettling and leaves many questions to answer. The Jony Ive promotion over all human interface at Apple is great. The firing of John Browett as head of retail seems good. Why should the rapidly growing and most profitable retail operation in the world get cut backs to save a few bucks? The loss of Scott Forstall, the key force in the development of iOS, is a little scary.

I want to put in a disclaimer here before I get started with my comments. I don’t know nearly enough about these guys. This is more a list of questions and guesses than solid information. I will post updates as more is revealed.

Jony Ive

Skeumorphism begone! No more bookshelves, leather stitching and horrible fonts like in notepad. Jony will see to the elimination of all unnecessary ornamentation, you can be assured of that. In its place will come extraordinary care in all manners of software design. The differences between hardware and software design will cease. Yay for that. The only questions here are:

  1. Who will lead the software and UI effort underneath Jony Ive? Is there a designer in waiting to take that role? Probably so.
  2. Will there be loss on the hardware side due to less attention there? I’m hoping the broader focus won’t dilute the secret sauce once an awesome design lead is selected.
  3. Will the elimination of conflicts and workarounds necessary to overcome the ongoing differences between Ive and Forstall free up energy that more than makes up for #2?
  4. Will there be synergy having hardware and software design under one roof? Yeah.

Scott Forstall

  1. Forstall is extremely talented or Steve Jobs wouldn’t have kept him and promoted him to top of Apple software.
  2. It’s scary to think what happens when all that knowledge in his head and passion goes somewhere else like Google or Microsoft. If he goes to a smaller venue to become CEO there, that could be a good thing for Apple.
  3. The iOS team is the A-Team at Apple software. Can Craig Federighi take that A-team higher without a dip while he and the team adjust to a new leader?
  4. Some say Scott may have been the closest to a Steve Jobs in his passion, creativity, vision and take-no-prisoners determination. Will his leaving make Apple too soft?
  5. I want to know a lot more about Federighi and his immediate reports. Will this be a plus or a minus for iOS?

Eddy Cue

  1. Who is this Eddy Cue guy anyway? I don’t like iTunes much and iCloud looks pretty great but is still in that awkward stage where we can’t be sure how successful it will be. Apple TV is still struggling.
  2. Eddy is taking over Siri and Maps and already had a full plate. We hear he is not an egomaniac and just does what needs to be done. I’m sure that makes him popular, but does that make him able to drop jaws and delight?
  3. I like Maps so far given its toddler stage so I think it will be fine.
  4. I’m not too worried about Siri. It hasn’t been great yet although it surely has its moments. Pour in the money and I think you will keep moving up that ladder. I love the dictation that’s already proving useful.
  5. Practical and pragmatic are two things that really help balance creative efforts. Apple is heavily laden with creatives, so Eddy’s practicality may be good. When Steve came back to Apple, he got really practical and we all know how well that went. Brilliantly!

Bob Mansfield

  1. Bob seems perfect in the role he’s played at Apple in hardware engineering. He comes across really practical and earnest in his videos.
  2. Apparently, Bob didn’t get along with Forstall and would probably be long gone by now if Scott wasn’t leaving. And Bob is well-liked by Jony Ive.
  3. His new Technology group should be interesting. I hear wireless and semiconductors will fall here. Those are mobile technologies that are important these days.

Craig Federighi

  1. Sr. VP, Software Engineering – OS X and iOS.
  2. I like him from his keynotes. Seems highly competent and smart.
  3. We need to learn more about this guy as his job is critical.
  4. Big job. I hope he is really, really good.

Dan Riccio

  1. Sr. VP, Hardware Engineering
  2. Yikes, I don’t know this guy – yet.
  3. The word is Jony Ive prefers Bob Mansfield.
  4. The word is the Hardware Engineering troops were grumbling after Riccio’s promotion.

John Browett

  1. He gave well-deserved pay raises to some of the retail staff. That’s a start.
  2. He cut staff hours to to try to save money. Not so good when Apple sales are through the roof and consumer expectations are that they will be treated as well as they would be at a Rolls Royce dealership. Retail pay is low. Apple has over $100 billion in the bank. This does not compute.
  3. Tim Cook selected him. Bad decision in my book.
  4. Tim has now taken over retail until a replacement is found. I’m sure efficiency will be great but that’s not sufficient.

Phil Schiller

  1. Sr. VP of Worldwide Marketing.
  2. Nothing here to see except Phil did run the whole keynote pretty much when the iPad mini and all the rest was introduced.
  3. It’s obvious that Phil is really bright and no pushover. He’s going to help keep the ship aright. Without Steve, his voice is louder.
  4. He’s not just a sales guy. He has a lot of input into products too.
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One thought on “Thoughts on Apple’s Executive Shakeup”

  1. What is skeumorphic?

    Tangent: Monday+Note+%23253&utm_term=Tablets+Trade-Offs+And+Compromises
    Interesting comparison of iPad mini and Surface

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