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Apple chops two senior execs and gives key new role to Jonathan Ive

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The Maps fallout may have prompted the biggest shake-up of Apple’s management in years

Apple has carried out a major shake-up of its management, with two key execs due to leave the company. The changes see Scott Forstall, head of mobile software, and John Browett, head of retail, being given the chop.

Meanwhile Jonathan Ive, Apple’s industrial design chief, is handed a role leading a new department called Human Interface. The job has a wider responsibility across all hardware and software at the company, as well as industrial design.

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Apple said that these changes “will encourage even more collaboration” between its hardware, software and services teams.

Forstall worked for years alongside Steve Jobs. However, Reuters reports that there was “friction” with other top executives. The agency adds: “Sources said Forstall refused to sign a public apology after Apple's mapping product, which displaced the popular Google Maps on the iPhone and the iPad in September, contained embarrassing errors and drew fierce criticism.”

Tim Cook (who took over from the late Steve Jobs) instead signed the Maps apology. The management changes mark the first reshuffle under Cook’s leadership and, according to Reuters, they are the biggest for the company in more than a decade.

Apple said that Forstall will be leaving the company “next year” and will serve as “an advisor to CEO Tim Cook in the interim.”

Apple Store Beijing

Browett, head of retail, was hired only seven months ago after being CEO of the Dixons Stores Group in the UK. Reuters says that sources claim he was simply not a good fit for the company.

“A search for a new head of Retail is underway and in the interim, the Retail team will report directly to Tim Cook,” said Apple’s statement.

Responsibility for Apple Maps and Siri will now go to Eddy Cue, the senior VP in charge of all online products. Senior VP Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X in a move to bring together the OS teams of both platforms. Bob Mansfield will lead a new group, Technologies, to combine all of Apple’s wireless teams across the company in one organisation.

Do you think Apple has done the right thing to get back on track after the Maps problem? Discuss it via the Trusted Reviews Twitter and Facebook feeds or via the comments boxes below.

Apple via Reuters

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