iOS VP Scott Forstall and head of retail John Browett leaving Apple, Jony Ive taking interface design role

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Apple has just announced a major executive shake-up: Senior VP of iOS software Scott Forstall is leaving Apple at the end of the year — he'll be serving in an advisory role to CEO Tim Cook until his departure. Additional executive changes include the departure of retail head John Browett, with Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi being tapped for additional responsibilities.

To make up for the departure of Forstall, Jony Ive will now provide leadership and direction for human interface across the entire company — it sounds like Ive will be getting a major opportunity to bring his famed hardware design sensibility to Apple's software. Eddy Cue, who has been responsible for Apple's digital storefronts, will get increased responsibility in the form of Maps and Siri. Obviously, that's a major challenge for Cue to take on, and it isn't unreasonable to think that the failure of iOS 6 Maps at launch may have directly led to his removal as iOS VP.

Craig Federighi, who previously served as VP of Mac software, will now be in charge of both iOS and OS X. Apple says this move will help unify software strategy across the two platforms; it sounds like he'll be the one most responsible for assuming Forstall's duties. Finally, VP Bob Mansfield — whose retirement was announced earlier this year before he announced his intentions to stay on in a less defined role — will head up a group known as Technologies, with a focus on semiconductor and wireless hardware.

As for John Browett, Apple's Senior VP of retail is out after less than a year on the job. There's no word as to why he left (or was dismissed), but Apple says that a search for a replacement is underway. In the meantime, the company's retail team will report directly to Cook. All told, removing Browett and Forstall from Apple is a significant shake-up, as Forstall was a huge component behind the rapid rise and success of the iOS platform. Adam Lashinsky, author of Inside Apple, theorized on Twitter that Forstall was the "DRI" — directly responsible individual — for Maps and Siri, and thus "paid the price" for Apple's troubles with those two key iOS features. The DRI model was one that Steve Jobs believed strongly in during his role as Apple's CEO, and it looks like the concept lives on under Tim Cook's direction.

Apple's full statement is below.

CUPERTINO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apple® today announced executive management changes that will encourage even more collaboration between the Company's world-class hardware, software and services teams. As part of these changes, Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi will add more responsibilities to their roles. 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.

"We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple's history," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "The amazing products that we've introduced in September and October, iPhone 5, iOS 6, iPad mini, iPad, iMac, MacBook Pro, iPod touch, iPod nano and many of our applications, could only have been created at Apple and are the direct result of our relentless focus on tightly integrating world-class hardware, software and services."

Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design. His incredible design aesthetic has been the driving force behind the look and feel of Apple's products for more than a decade.

Eddy Cue will take on the additional responsibility of Siri® and Maps, placing all of our online services in one group. This organization has overseen major successes such as the iTunes Store®, the App Store℠, the iBookstore℠ and iCloud®. This group has an excellent track record of building and strengthening Apple's online services to meet and exceed the high expectations of our customers.

Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X®. Apple has the most advanced mobile and desktop operating systems, and this move brings together the OS teams to make it even easier to deliver the best technology and user experience innovations to both platforms.

Bob Mansfield will lead a new group, Technologies, which combines all of Apple's wireless teams across the company in one organization, fostering innovation in this area at an even higher level. This organization will also include the semiconductor teams, who have ambitious plans for the future.

Additionally, John Browett is leaving Apple. A search for a new head of Retail is underway and in the interim, the Retail team will report directly to Tim Cook. Apple's Retail organization has an incredibly strong network of leaders at the store and regional level who will continue the excellent work that has been done over the past decade to revolutionize retailing with unique, innovative services for customers.

Update: 9to5Mac has posted a team-wide email from Tim Cook thanking Forstall for his "many contributions to Apple over his career" and explaining that Mansfield will remain with the company for an additional two years. The full text is below.

Team,

We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history. The amazing products that we’ve introduced in September and October – iPhone 5, iOS6, iPad mini, iPad, iMac, MacBook Pro, iPod touch, iPod nano and many of our applications – could only have been created at Apple, and are the direct result of our relentless focus on tightly integrating world-class hardware, software and services.

Today, I am announcing changes that will encourage even more collaboration between our world-class hardware, software and services teams at all levels of our company. As part of these changes, Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue, and Craig Federighi will be taking on more responsibilities. I am also announcing that Scott Forstall will be leaving Apple next year and will serve as an advisor to me during the interim. I want to thank Scott for all of his many contributions to Apple over his career.

Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his longtime role as the leader of Industrial Design. Jony has an incredible design aesthetic and has been the driving force behind the look and feel of our products for more than a decade. The face of many of our products is our software and the extension of Jony’s skills into this area will widen the gap between Apple and our competition.

Eddy Cue will take on the additional responsibility of Siri and Maps. This places all of our online services in one group. Eddy and his organization have overseen major successes such as the iTunes Store, the App Store, the iBookstore and iCloud. They have an excellent track record of building and strengthening our online services to meet and exceed the high expectations of our customers.

Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X. We have the most advanced mobile and desktop operating systems on the planet, and bringing together our OS teams will make it even easier to deliver our best technology and user experience innovations to both platforms. Craig recently led the very successful release of Mountain Lion.

Bob Mansfield will lead a new group, Technologies, which combines all of our wireless teams across the company in one organization, allowing us to innovate in this area at an even higher level. This organization will also include all of our semiconductor teams, who have some very ambitious plans. As part of this, I am thrilled to tell you that Bob will remain with Apple for an additional two years. Bob has led some of our most challenging engineering projects for many years.

Additionally, John Browett is leaving Apple. Our search for a new head of Retail is already underway. In the meantime, the Retail team will report directly to me. Retail has an incredibly strong network of leaders at the store and regional level, and they will continue the excellent work they’ve done over the past decade to revolutionize retailing with unique, innovative services and a focus on the customer that is second to none. This phenomenal team of talented and dedicated people works their hearts out making our customers happy. They have our respect, our admiration and our undying support.

Please join me in congratulating everyone on their new roles.

I’d like to thank everyone for working so hard so that Apple can continue to make the world’s best products and delight our customers. I continue to believe that Apple has the most talented and most innovative people on the planet, and I feel privileged and inspired to be able to work with all of you.

Best,

Tim

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