Apple board shake up sees Forstall and Browett out, and new role for Ive

Apple announced changes to its leadership on Monday that will see Scott Forstall, the man responsible for software at Apple, and John Broweet who was head of retail, leaving the company.

While Apple has said that it is actively looking for a new head of retail to replace Browett, who was previously at Dixons in the UK, Forstall's role will be reassigned almost immediately between existing C-levels members of the management team.

Jony Ive, head of industrial design at Apple, will now head up a new department titled Human Interface (HI) responsible for all hardware and software at Apple, while Eddy Cue will take on the additional responsibility of Siri and Maps, with Apple placing all of its online services in one group. Craig Federighi takes the rest of Forstall's responsibility and leads both iOS and OS X.

Bob Mansfield, who left Apple earlier in the year only to be wooed back again, will lead a new group, Technologies, that combines all of Apple’s wireless teams across the company in one organisation, to foster nnovation in this area at an even higher level, Apple says. This organisation will also include the semiconductor teams, who have ambitious plans for the future.

Although Apple isn't saying so openly, many believe that Scott Forstall has been pushed out following the embarrassment Apple has suffered over Apple Maps and a shaky launch of Siri last year.

Forstall wasn't part of Apple's recent event in San Jose to launch the iPad mini and was spotted at the event looking "lost" with little to do but offer support.

That's fitting, because that's his new role until he leaves in 2013: Apple has said that Forstall will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook in the interim.

At one point many predicted he could be a successor to Steve Jobs, however with Cook doing so well in the CEO roll, it could be that Forstall felt opportunities at Apple were limited.

Apple says it is actively looking for a new Retail chief just six months after Browett joined from the Dixons group in the UK. 

No specific reasons were given for either man's departure.



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