"Siri, is the iOS Map app bad enough to cost me my job?"
That's the question Apple's Scott Forstall might just be asking today, after Apple reshuffled its executives and it was announced he would leave the company next year, "and will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook in the interim” after a reorganization of the company billed as designed to "increase collaboration across hardware, software & services."
Forstall has no other remaining responsibilities mentioned in Apple's statement about the reshuffle, which also results in the creation of several new divisions. That reorganization makes it hard to draw a conclusion other than Forstall being on quarantine of one sort or another until he leaves, given that others inside Apple have new responsibiilties.
If that is the case, it indicates that Apple CEO Tim Cook is not afraid to flex some managerial muscle when Apple fails to excel. Past failures such as Antennagate, the underwhelming iCloud launch, and the botched MobileMe reportedly saw some lower level folks told to clean out their desks, but Apple has seldom shed C-suite talent.
The language used in the statement to describe the departure of retail head John Browett may also be instructive, as it mentions that a replacement is being sought.
Forstall's former responsibilities, by contrast, have have been shared among others. iOS now belongs to Craig Federighi, who also gets OS X. Siri and Maps are now Eddie Cue's gig, along with the iTunes Store, App Store, iBookstore, and iCloud, all of which are now part of an online services group.
Another new group has the inspirational title "Technologies", and will see Bob Mansfield oversee "all of Apple's wireless teams across the company" while also taking on Apple's semiconductor team.
Jonny Ive will now "provide leadership and direction for Human Interface across the company," while also keeping his chief designer job.