Scott Forstall, the man who was in charge of the look and feel of Apple's iOS software before being ousted from the company near the end of 2012, has come back into the limelight thanks to — of all things — a new play on Broadway. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal (which is his first since departing Apple), Forstall had no bad words for the company, saying he was "so proud of the thousands of people I worked with [at Apple] and with whom I remain friends," and adding that "I am delighted that they continue to turn out great and beloved products."
Forstall has lain incredibly low since his stint at Apple, reportedly advising startups in Silicon Valley, and rather humorously having his Apple corporate headshot appear in multiple advertisements for The City College of New York. Then, in April, two strange things happened: leaked emails from the Sony Pictures hack that were published by Wikileaks pegged Forstall as an investor and advisor in Snapchat (something he would not confirm to the Journal); the next day, Forstall emerged as a co-producer with his wife on Fun Home, a Broadway musical, in his first Tweet in five years of having a Twitter account:
I'm thrilled to be co-producing the Broadway musical Fun Home http://t.co/PqrKKZGcxY opening this Sunday. Bravo to the phenomenal team!— Scott Forstall (@forstall) April 17, 2015
Forstall's ousting from Apple stemmed from him butting heads with others on Apple's executive team, prompting the company to promote "increased collaboration" as the tagline upon its news of his departure. At the time, sources told The Verge the issue came to a head upon Forstall's refusal to sign an apology to the company's customers over the roughness of Apple Maps. When the software was first released under Forstall's leadership, it had numerous issues, including things that developers had warned the company about several times ahead of its public debut. That apology was ultimately signed by Apple CEO Tim Cook, alongside a laundry list of maps apps from other companies.
It's unclear how much the Forstalls have put into the production of Fun Home. Just before leaving Apple, Scott Forstall cashed out over what was then worth $38 million in company stock, what would now be worth a cool $56.72 million.