Peter Flanagan: Apple simply doesn’t tolerate mistakes among top brass
THE news that two of Apple’s most senior executives have been unceremoniously dumped by the company is surprising, but it really shouldn’t be.
Apple’s head of retail John Browett and Scot Forstall, who was in charge of the iOS operating system used by iPads and IPhones, both made errors that may look relatively minor, but would never have been tolerated when Steve Jobs was still running the company.
Mr Browett only joined this year and was given a €42m “golden hello” when he took over the famous Apple Store network, but he made a bad move that earned the company threw an unwelcome spotlight on how Apple treats its retail staff.
He was instrumental in reducing the working hours of staff already making little more than the minimum wage, leaving employees struggling to make ends meet.
The visual of the multimillionaire executive effectively cutting the wages of staff who sell hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Apple equipment damaged Apple’s brand at a time when there is such hostility between the “haves” and “have nots” in the US. Eventually the decision was reversed but the damage had been done.
Scott Forstall meanwhile has been deemed responsible for the monumental screw up that was Apple Maps.
When Apple rolled its iOS 6 software, with Apple Maps instead of the long used Google version, it immediately became a punchline, as stories about melting bridges and airports in the middle of Dundrum popped up everywhere.
The maps debacle also brought heat on CEO Tim Cook, who was hit with comments along the lines of “this would never have happened under Jobs”.
People make mistakes, but some companies give staff a longer leash than others. Browett and Forstall were deemed to have messed up, and they have paid for it with their jobs.