SAN FRANCISCO - Apple CEO Tim Cook is "remapping" Apple's organizational chart.
company that prides itself on meticulous products has shown the door to
failed Maps chief Richard Williamson in part of a broader redesign of
the company under Cook.
Widespread consumer outrage over Apple's
wonky Maps software put Williamson in the hot seat. That led to Cook
lieutenant Eddy Cue, senior vice president at Apple, firing the senior
director of its iOS mobile software division, according to Bloomberg
The move underscores a series of management shakeups, a
major shortcoming in a core Apple utility - Maps - and Cook's
preparedness in cleaning house.
Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller declined to comment.
leaders need to come in and clear out "dead wood," says Vivek Wadhwa,
vice president of academics and innovation at Singularity University, of
recent management changes under Cook's regime. "Tim Cook is bringing
his own guys in. He knows where the doers are."
The booting of
Williamson comes on the heels of last month's ouster of mobile operating
system chief Scott Forstall. The former executive in charge of iOS,
Forstall served as a longtime lieutenant under Apple co-founder Steve
Jobs and was seen as a likely successor and rival for the top spot.
was also a polarizing figure. Forstall was reportedly at odds with
Jonathan Ive, senior vice president of industrial design and close Jobs
confidant, whose role as taste-maker has been since elevated to span
software and hardware.
Cook is "doing the right thing. He's less
concerned about the public perception than getting the product right.
Jobs tried to manage the media and perception more aggressively," says
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.
Along with ejecting Forstall,
Cook oversaw the exit of retail chief John Browett. The former leader at
U.K.-based Dixons Retail, who didn't even last a year, was seen as a
bad fit from the start. His focus on cutting costs vs. customer service
raised flags among analysts.
Executive expulsions alone won't be able to fix Apple's Maps blunder. "People below them are the critical ones," says Wadhwa.
fans have vented across social media about misplaced landmarks, streets
and incomplete directions. A lack of public transit information had
many calling for people to avoid updating their software.
Apple's ill-fated move to displace Google Maps as the provider of its
mapping technology is part of a growing rivalry between the technology
giants for Internet services. And giving that business over to Google -
massive Web traffic - was just no longer an option.
is that coming even close to Google Maps could take a long time. The
search giant has spent years tweaking Google Maps in widespread efforts
that suck in data that include staff images from Google Street View
crews and Google Map Maker, crowd-sourced maps made by people, says Mike
Dobson, president of TeleMapics.
Criticism has fallen on
navigation company TomTom for providing Apple the data it uses. TomTom
has defended its maps data. "My belief is those are Apple's problems,
not TomTom's data," says Dobson.
The fix will likely require
massive hiring and human interaction with data, he says. "They thought
it would be good enough, but the reality was it was not good enough. It
was real sloppiness."
Contributing: Jefferson Graham in Los Angeles