Scott Forstall, Apple's Senior Vice President of iOS software was asked to leave the company after reportedly refusing to sign his name to a letter apologizing for the Apple Maps gaff that accompanied the launch of iOS 6 — according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The move is being called “one of the most significant management shake-ups in Apple's recent history” as Forstall, a 15-year Apple veteran and protégé of Steve Jobs is relegated to serve CEO Tim Cook as an adviser in the interim until his official exit from the company sometime next year according to an Apple news release.
“This is his second consecutive high-profile screw up with iOS software,” Jay Yarrow wrote about the Apple Maps disaster for the Business Insider. “Last year he pushed Apple to add Siri to iOS. Siri has been an embarrassment for Apple.”
One person close to Apple's executive team conveyed that the mood of people at the company was mostly positive after learning of Mr. Forstall's departure — as reported by The New York Times.
“This was better than the Giants winning the World Series. People are really excited.”
Some pundits are already speculating that Scott Forstall could ultimately end up leading the Android team at Google — although “advising” Tim Cook into next year could hold him in check through the end of 2013, making a hire by Google, Microsoft, Amazon or even Samsung impossible in the near term.
Regardless of why Forstall was ousted from Apple or even if he was difficult to work with as some insiders have suggested — cheering his misfortune is simply poor form and ultimately reflects badly on those seen smirking in the bleachers.
At the end of the day Forstall is still credited with building a phenomenal iOS for iPhone and iPad — a grand legacy that most of us can only dream about playing Monday morning quarterback while passing gas sitting in an overstuffed lazy boy recliner chair.
Scott Forstall is going to land on his feet and end up doing just fine living life beyond the great mothership. It's not the end of the world — just the end of an era.
So get over it.