Apple Maps fiasco gets Forstall the chop

After just six months in the job, Apple’s Scott Forstall has got the boot, reportedly for refusing to apologise for the company’s disappointing Maps service.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the iOS software boss refused to sign a letter saying sorry for the problems, with CEO Tim Cook signing it instead. Forstall apparently wanted Apple to try and weather the storm without apologizing, as it did following the iPhone antenna problems a few years back.

Even before the row over Maps, Forstall was in trouble, says the paper. Colleagues found him difficult to work with and said he had flaunted his close relationship with Steve Jobs. It’s a bit of a comedown for a man who was once tipped as a possible replacement for Jobs.

Also getting the chop – and very abruptly – is head of retail John Browett, who was forced to apologize earlier this year over staff cutbacks at the company’s stores.

While Forstall won’t actually leave until next year, Browett is out of the door already. The company’s looking for a replacement, but in the meantime the retail team will report directly to Tim Cook.

Meanwhile, the company’s expanding the role of several other execs. Jonny Ive will take over Human Interface across the company, on top of his role as head of industrial design.

Eddy Cue will take over Siri and Maps, and Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X. Bob Mansfield will lead a new group, Technologies. This will combine all of Apple’s wireless teams across the company in one organization, including the semiconductor teams – who have ‘ambitious plans for the future’, says Apple.