Apple shock: iOS executive resigns, takes the fall for Siri, Maps debacles

Apple users ticked off about the less-than-stellar launch of both Siri and the company’s lacklustre replacement for Google Maps can breathe easy – the executive responsible for them both has taken the fall.

The tech giant made a huge announcement this morning, saying head of iOS software Scott Forstall would leave the company after 15 years. Forstall has been often touted as a potential candidate for the chief executive role and was reportedly close to Steve Jobs.

But Forstall’s reign as an iOS pioneer hasn’t been without controversy. Reports indicate he’s extremely difficult to work with and fellow executives apparently can’t stand meeting with him. But most of all – he’s overseen some of the company’s biggest PR disasters, including the leak of an iPhone 4 back in 2010.

In a testament to just how unceremoniously Forstall will be exiting the company, chief executive offered exactly zero comments on his experience, or even a “best wishes”.

“Apple also announced that Scott Forstall will be leaving Apple next year and will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook in the interim,” the statement said. It’s a cold goodbye.

Forstall, who is the youngest senior executive at Apple and crossed over after joining NeXT in the early 90s, has overseen some of the company’s biggest disasters, including:

  • The leak of an iPhone 4 prototype in 2010. The leak showed up on Gizmodo and, as the reports eventually showed, it ended up being a huge blow to the company’s reputation. Steve Jobs took the issue extremely seriously and called Gizmodo editor Jason Chen personally to resolve the situation.
  • Siri’s launch in 2011. The service was admittedly in beta, but the fact it didn’t work very well was yet another blow.
  • Apple Maps. The service has been an unmitigated disaster. It doesn’t work very well and customers are more annoyed by the fact there is no alternative app. Tim Cook even made an apology on the company’s front page just days after iOS 6 was released.

While Apple, of course, hasn’t explicitly said Forstall is to blame for these mishaps, it does make a point of mentioning both Maps and Siri will now be under the jurisdiction of Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services.

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