FE Editorial : Slicing n’ Dicing

Oct 31 2012, 02:03 IST
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SummaryApple’s management reshuffle shows Tim Cook will do what it takes to keep the company on top.

It seems the ripple effects of Apple’s failed Maps application, the one that replaced Google Maps on the new iOS 6, have far from subsided. From earning the company a whole lot of ridicule, birthing a series of memes making fun of how bad Apple Maps were, and forcing Apple’s CEO Tim Cook to apologise in public, Apple Maps now seems to be the reason behind the resignation of two key executives on Apple’s team—mobile software head Scott Forstall and retail head John Browett. Forstall was responsible for the mapping software that failed so spectacularly to live up to Google Maps’ standards. He reportedly refused to sign a letter publicly apologising for the mapping software’s flaws, which is what insiders say led to his ouster. But now he’s gone; the question is what lies ahead for Apple.

One of the people who stand to get a major leg-up in the company following the management reshuffle is Jony Ive, who currently heads industrial design. Ive now reportedly will get more influence over the vision and detail of Apple’s products and takes on responsibility for their human interface (how customers use them). Basically, he will be the conduit where software and hardware inputs meet—one of the most important roles Steve Jobs performed. Tim Cook has shown that he is a capable leader, presiding over successes like the outstanding sales of the iPhone 4S and 5 while also apologising for failures like Apple Maps. But, more importantly, with this reshuffle, he has shown that he hasn’t let his ego get ahead of him. Sure, Apple has done well since Jobs, but that doesn’t mean Cook is above adopting some of Jobs’s best strategies. Jony Ive’s dual role is testament to that—Jobs’s role of single-handedly reconciling software and hardware needs to be duplicated if Apple is to stay at the top.

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