Two top Apple executives will be leaving the company next year in a major executive shakeup which could indicate more changes to come.
The two executives set to leave are the head of iOS mobile software, Scott Forstall, and retail head John Browett, reports USA Today. As a result, Apple’s lead designer Jony Ive and a few others will have more responsibilities, since Browett’s departure is immediate.
The announcement of the departures comes just before the massive holiday shopping season. It may have long-term implications at Apple but will likely not impact sales as Apple competitors like Google and Amazon.com ramp up their mobile offerings.
Because of closed stock markets from Hurricane Sandy, it is not yet known what the immediate impact will be. ABC News notes that Apple did not say why the two top executives are leaving the company, though both have presided over missteps in 2012.
Browett was responsible for cutting staffing hours in Apple’s retail stores, a move that the company has since reversed and acknowledged as a mistake. Forestall’s mistake involved the launch of a software update in September that replaced Google Maps with the company’s own mapping application.
Apple Maps quickly garnered widespread criticism, which Apple has apologized for. Browett’s departure from Apple is immediate, while Forstall will act as an adviser for CEO Tim Cook until his departure next year. His responsibilities will be divvied up among other long-time Apple employees.
Steve Forstall joined Apple in 1997 when the company purchased Steve Jobs’ NeXT startup. The company credits him as one of the original architects of Mac OS X.