Tim Cook Talks About Why iOS Chief Scott Forstall Was Fired

Tim Cook Talks About Why iOS Chief Scott Forstall Was Fired

We’ve already posted all of the best quotes from Apple CEO Tim Cook’s major new interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, but this deserves highlighting: in the interview, Tim Cook explained why he fired iOS chief Scott Forstall, strongly indicating that Forstall was a divisive, political figure in Apple who flew in the face of the spirit of collaboration the company strives for.

Here’s what Cook said when asked directly about the firing of Forstall and retail chief John Browett:

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. We’ve got services all in one place, and the guy that’s running that has incredible skills in services, has an incredible track record, and I’m confident will do fantastic things.

Forstall was reportedly one of the least collaborative of Apple executives, having reportedly run his iOS domain something like a fiefdom. He was also proud, having refused to sign an apology over the state of iOS 6 Maps.

Later, asked about company politics, Tim Cook seems to further hint at reasons why Scott Forstall was fired:

I despise politics. There is no room for it in a company. My life is going to be way too short to deal with that. No bureaucracy. We want this fast-moving, agile company where there are no politics, no agendas.

Scott Forstall was known to be an extremely ambitious, political figure within Apple, a man who was once pegged to be Apple’s new CEO before he was fired.

Granted, Tim Cook is not making a point of explicitly referring to Forstall, but it’s not too hard to read between the lines here. These quotes are all about Forstall.

Related
  • Gregory Wright

    Surprising a company executive would publicly discuss why an employee was fired.

  • technochick

    Surprising a company executive would publicly discuss why an employee was fired.

    Better him with th correct story that a bunch of page hit whoring blogs

  • HerbalEd

    Surprising a company executive would publicly discuss why an employee was fired.

    I wouldn’t say he actually “discussed” the firing … in fact, he didn’t.

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John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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