Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Apple Fires Scott Forstall Over Maps Fiasco, & Employees Party?

That's right. Apple fired not one, but two of its top executives yesterday, supposedly due to the Maps application failure.

Scott Forstall had a 15 year history with Apple, including a close friendship with the late Steve Jobs. However, it would appear that such a friendship was not extended to Tim Cook, or other members of Apple's upper echelon.

Yesterday, ValueWalk reported that Scott Forstall and John Browett, namely, Apple's retail and software chiefs, were both relieved of duty. This came as a surprise to both the media and to other Apple employees. John Browett, unlike Forstall, had only recently been brought into the company. Tim Cook had brought him in to lead the retail sector of Apple, but it would appear the relationship did not go as planned.

According to Kara Swisher of AllThingsD, the Apple Maps fiasco was all Forstall's problem. He was responsible for the mapping software development, and subsequently the acidic fallout following its epic failure. However, according to a report released by ValueWalk today, he refused to add his signature to the letter apologizing to Apple's customers for the issues in the Maps program.

This act of defiance could very well be what triggered his being fired by Tim Cook. While we mentioned earlier that Forstall was pretty close to Steve Jobs, we also pointed out that his relationship with other people at Apple was much less friendly. This is evident from rumors that several Apple employees from the engineering department, where Forstall worked, threw somewhat of a party following his departure. They reportedly went out for celebratory drinks shortly after the news of Forstall's release was made public.

While all of this is sure to have an impact on Apple Inc. (AAPL)'s stock, I believe it will be a positive one. While many may view the release of a top executive as a negative move, the fact that Tim Cook and Apple's other top leaders are taking action to quell any further issues in that department should sit well with investors. Only time will tell, but as Apple has risen with stellar speed in recent months, and now sits atop the world as the largest company by market cap, I believe the $1,000 price target set by analysts can easily be achieved by the end of this year. Only time will tell.