Apple Fires iOS Maps Chief Richard Williamson

Another executive canned as Apple looks to eliminate Forstall’s influence

By on November 28th, 2012 09:00 GMT

Heads continue to roll at Apple Inc. as Tim Cook is looking to improve iOS Maps in accordance with his apologetic open letter issued in September. Following the ousting of John Browett Scott Forstall, another key executive is now clearing his desk – Richard Williamson.

Reportedly fired by Eddy Cue himself, after Tim Cook put the latter in charge with fixing the Maps fiasco, Williamson oversaw the iOS mapping team and had previously reported to Scott Forstall.

In other words, Williamson perpetuated whatever mistakes Forstall made. So, naturally, he was also in line for canning.

Contacted by Bloomberg, Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller declined to comment on the rumor. But she did refer the media to Tim Cook’s promise in September that Apple was going to address the issues with iOS Maps.

Cook said that the service would also repair itself (partially) through extensive usage by customers.

“We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make maps better,” the CEO added.

Apple doesn’t have a replacement for Williamson yet, and that’s not necessarily a good sign, amid attempts to improve the Maps service.

However, Tim Cook’s recent executive shakeup indicates that there were too many chiefs in charge of too many projects – just like the fragmented Android ecosystem.

So perhaps Apple’s changes to increase collaboration across hardware, software & services included the ousting of many more executives, not just Forstall and Browett (the former head of retail).

“We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history,” said Tim Cook.

“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," the CEO noted in October.

The company’s press release also confirmed that “Eddy Cue will take on the additional responsibility of Siri and Maps, placing all of our online services in one group.”

Update: made a few modifications to the text to include references to John Browett, another key executive fired by "Hurricane Tim."

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