Tim Cook: Management Shakeup Indeed Driven by Desire for Increased Collaboration
In his lengthy interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the recent management shakeup that saw iOS chief Scott Forstall relieved of his duties and retail boss John Browett out of a job just months after arriving at Apple. In line with comments in the press release announcing the changes, Cook elaborates on his belief in high levels of collaboration and that executive changes were needed in order to take that effort to the next level.
So the changes—it’s not a matter of going from no collaboration to collaboration. We have an enormous level of collaboration in Apple, but it’s a matter of taking it to another level. You look at what we are great at. There are many things. But the one thing we do, which I think no one else does, is integrate hardware, software, and services in such a way that most consumers begin to not differentiate anymore. They just care that the experience is fantastic.
So how do we keep doing that and keep taking it to an even higher level? You have to be an A-plus at collaboration. And so the changes that we made get us to a whole new level of collaboration.
Cook goes on to highlight Eddy Cue's expertise in services, Jony Ive's design skills, Bob Mansfield's experience with silicon and wireless, and Craig Federighi's history of overseeing the underpinnings of both OS X and iOS. Cook is careful to note, however, that this increased collaboration is not working toward a merger of iOS and OS X as some have speculated.
We don’t subscribe to the vision that the OS for iPhones and iPads should be the same as Mac. As you know, iOS and Mac OS are built on the same base. And Craig has always managed the common elements. And so this is a logical extension. Customers want iOS and Mac OS X to work together seamlessly, not to be the same, but to work together seamlessly.
Forstall had been seen as a polarizing figure at Apple, wearing his ambition on his sleeve while some said that he was quick to take credit for accomplishments but deflecting blame for missteps. Forstall reportedly also refused to sign an open letter from Cook apologizing for shortcomings in Apple's new Maps app for iOS 6, sealing his fate.