In the biggest change to Apple’s current executive list, long-time SVP of iOS Scott Forstall is to step down from Apple Inc., with executive Eddy Cue taking on a newly expanded role as head of the newly merged internal group which now includes Siri and Maps, previously under the domain of Forstall. Forstall will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook until his departure next year, while Craig Federighi will now oversee the group responsible for iOS and OS X development.
As a result of the shakeup, Jonathan Ive will now be responsible for Human Interface development on top of his responsibilities as head of Industrial Design, a marked change from the standard direction followed by Apple under Steve Jobs until very recently. The shuffle represents the most visible change to Apple’s executive structure since Tim Cook officially took over the title of CEO following the passing of Steve Jobs last year.
In related news, Apple has also announced that former Head of Retail John Browett will be leaving the company while a search is undertaken for a new retail head. Browett only recently began his tenure with Apple earlier this Summer and it was almost immediately marred by an initiative to fire a substantial amount of Apple Store employees hired six months earlier and instituting a hiring freeze, only to recall the decision days later. Browett was recruited directly by Tim Cook in January after heading the England-based Dixons electronics chain and the hire was publicly announced to great fanfare in January and was intended to reset the Retail division after previous Retail division head Ron Johnson left Apple to head troubled department store JCPenney.
With the reorganization of the internal teams responsible for Apple’s success leading to some of the luminaries taking on even more responsibility, the changes are being seen as a way for Apple to move on from the often debated issue of skeumorphism in user interface design, specifically in Game Center and other key Apple applications and the internal clashing that resulted from such issues regarding user interface development on an internal and external level.