The Ousting Of Apple’s iOS Mastermind Scott Forstall: Yay Or Nay?

You can look at yesterday’s firing of Apple’s SVP of iOS, Scott Forstall in two ways.

Number One: He was a tyrannical bully, sharing many similar traits of his mentor and former CEO, the late Steve Jobs.

Reportedly, the only person he did get along with was Steve Jobs. He was relentless and brilliant in his approach to iOS, making it the most popular platform in smartphones today.

However, since the death of his mentor and friend, has Scott been floundering, like a fish out of water, helpless without someone as strong and as savvy as Steve to set him on the right course?

All those temper outbursts worked fine as long as Steve was alive to temper and appease and redirect Scott.

But, one has to wonder if Scott is now feeling the repercussions of Steve’s demise in a more personal way, clouding his judgement and deterring his ability to establish a cohesive friendship with the remaining executive team at Apple.

Number Two: Scott was often said to be “Steve Job’s successor”. Is this firing a déjà-vu scenario mirroring Steve Jobs’ firing in 1985 after a major power struggle with the board of directors.

You remember that Steve Jobs was fired for similar reasons – he was difficult to deal with, couldn’t get along with his peers, possessed radical ideas etc.

Will Apple survive without the brilliance of Scott Forstall or will this be the beginning of the end for the company, forcing them to woo back Scott a few years down the road?

This is exactly what happened after Steve Jobs was dismissed back in 1983. Apple fell apart because of a lack of vision, while Steve moved on and made a name for himself by founding NeXT.

And then, on the brink of bankruptcy, Apple was forced to rehire him – the rest being history.

All of this does give me pause and makes me wonder who is right and who is wrong.

There are two theories at work here. Will history repeat itself or will Apple survive the monumental shift in its corporate headquarters, moving on to another prolific period in Apple’s legacy?

With Jony Ive now in control of Human Interface, I am leaning toward theory Number Two, if, for no other reason that Steve Jobs created a work environment for Jony that placed him immediately below him in the chain of command.

In other words, Jony Ive was answerable only to Steve.

There was incredible tension between Jony Ive and Scott Forstall and this animosity was really a bad accident waiting to happen.

And it did. Maps and Siri are a mess – improving, mind you, but still a mess. Steve would never have allowed this to happen. Never.

And how could Jony even expand his creative skills surrounded by this maniacal nonsense every day?

Bottom line: he couldn’t. If so, we would have had our Retina Display iPad Mini or something even more exciting in this new little iDevice.

There is a very good article at AllThingsD.Com that highlights why this aggressive move was such brave and good one.

I always thought that Jony Ive was Steve Jobs’ heir apparent – not Scott Forstall. Jony is truly Steve’s soul-mate.

And while Scott was indeed talented, he was a copy-cat personality-wise, adopting Steve’s temperament but not his attention to simplistic detail and design.

So, how do you feel about this latest news from Apple? Were they correct in firing Scott Forstall or was this a huge mistake that they will regret in the years ahead?

You know where the comments are – I’ll be waiting!


Posted on October 30, 2012, in Apple, iOS, Steve Jobs, Technology and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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