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Apple's Reorganization Goes Deeper Than Just Who's In Charge

Former Apple employee Matt Drance has an interesting take on yesterday's executive shakeup at Apple. He notes that the new division of responsibilities across three top executives is a sea change from how Apple has traditionally operated.
Not only is this a profound increase in responsibility for all three of these top executives, it’s a profound change in Apple’s organization going as far back as I can remember. There’s a long-standing pattern of separating watershed products important to the company’s future. The Mac and Apple teams. Mac OS X and Classic. The iPod division. iOS and Mac OS X. Suddenly, Tim Cook has pulled the reins in. Federighi owns software. Ive owns design. Cue owns services. Period.
Instead of separating products into different teams, Tim Cook has now divided responsibility for completing products across three separate divisions, each headed by a long-time Apple executive. All three divisions will be required to work together in order to finish and ship anything, necessitating increased collaboration and perhaps consistency across the company.

Om Malik has another take on why Apple's products -- in particular those in Scott Forstall's charge -- have faltered a bit in the past few years: releasing a product based on a schedule, rather than releasing it when it's finished.
The time-based schedule is one of the reasons why Siri and Maps arrived as half-baked products and were met with derision. Many engineers inside Apple could foresee problems with Maps. Why? Because Maps were driven by a time schedule.

Maps and Siri are complex products whose dependencies (for the lack of a better word) go deep into different parts of the phone and even the network. The schedule-driven release culture makes folks less daring — why take arrows in your back for failing to deliver a radical new feature on a pre-dictated time? If this cultural warp continues, Apple might have a bigger headache on its hands. Ive’s appointment as the Human Interface honcho means that more risk-taking needs to come into the products.

Top Rated Comments

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89 months ago

Design by Committee.

Design by Ive.
Rating: 47 Votes
89 months ago
I get the feeling that Steve Jobs had some kind of deal in place that meant Tim Cook was not able to make any major changes in staff and organisation until a year after his death.
Rating: 26 Votes
89 months ago
This is really no surprise about the poor quality based on a time schedule.

I am excited to see the future "consistent" products, though!
Rating: 22 Votes
89 months ago
I am very pleased about these new developments and I look forward to see what the new 'power core' will come up with.
Rating: 18 Votes
89 months ago
Keep the management tight and focused. With apples huge war chest, good times ahead!

Rating: 17 Votes
89 months ago
Ive is like :apple:'s bull dog lol at least from the picture. It will be a good change though!
Rating: 17 Votes
89 months ago
I'm actually pretty excited by all of this.

Eddy seems to be a very competent guy, and I'd expect some stable, consistent upgrades to Maps, Siri, and iCloud in the next 12 months that'll make them real, usable services.

Craig is the one that makes me the most nervous. We've had all this "Back to the Mac" stuff for a while now, taking iOS features that people love and bringing them to OS X. I'd like to see some stuff from OS X make its way into iOS. Even as a stolen product, Android is starting to look really full-featured compared to iOS. As someone who would like to get a tablet, but can't go without UI features like multiple desktops and OS X applications like Mathematica and Xcode, I'm apprehensive but hopeful about the future of both iOS and OS X.

Does anything need to be said about Jony? The buck stops with him on all design now. That's fantastic news.
Rating: 15 Votes
89 months ago

A product should only be released when it's more or less finished (I agree that's debatable, but time-driven release is absurd). I always wondered why a Beta version of Siri saw the day of light. If I remember well Jobs was still around when that happened.

And of course we will complain bitterly that Apple doesn't care about us, the users, when we don't get the updated products on the schedule we've come to expect:

New iPads ALWAYS come in the Spring! It's been that way for as long as I can remember (back to 2010, that is). How dare they refresh it after only seven months! We iPad 3 buyers deserve a full year of having the latest and the greatest. And the Mac Pro needs to be refreshed NOW, whether it's ready or not.
Rating: 12 Votes
89 months ago
Should be interesting to see what shakes out with the new alignment. I personally don't have any problems with any of my Apple stuff or iOS, but I always welcome change for the good.
Rating: 11 Votes
89 months ago
No question Ives is a genuis, but it does seen to me that some of the products lately have followed form over function.

Examples; thin & light phone but with poor battery life, imac...super thin if looking from the side, but no optical drive, non expandable ram, ect.
Rating: 10 Votes

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