9to5Mac has obtained an internal email Apple CEO Tim Cook sent out to employees over today’s executive level ‘restructuring’. He notes Forstall will serve as an ‘advisor’ to him in the interim:
Today, I am announcing changes that will encourage even more collaboration between our world-class hardware, software and services teams at all levels of our company. As part of these changes, Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue, and Craig Federighi will be taking on more responsibilities. I am also announcing that Scott Forstall will be leaving Apple next year and will serve as an advisor to me during the interim. I want to thank Scott for all of his many contributions to Apple over his career.
As for Bob Mansfield, we all thought was out at Apple and ready to retire in June, but that changed two months later. Now, it appears Mansfield will continue to play an important role at Apple as part of a new lead group, Technologies–for at least two more years:
Bob Mansfield will lead a new group, Technologies, which combines all of our wireless teams across the company in one organization, allowing us to innovate in this area at an even higher level. This organization will also include all of our semiconductor teams, who have some very ambitious plans. As part of this, I am thrilled to tell you that Bob will remain with Apple for an additional two years. Bob has led some of our most challenging engineering projects for many years.
Daring Fireball reminds us of the Fast Company piece from weeks back that noted some tension within Apple over its use of skeuomorphic design, which went against other executives at Apple including industrial designer Jony Ive:
Inside Apple, tension has brewed for years over the issue. Apple iOS SVP Scott Forstall is said to push for skeuomorphic design, while industrial designer Jony Ive and other Apple higher-ups are said to oppose the direction. “You could tell who did the product based on how much glitz was in the UI,” says one source intimately familiar with Apple’s design process.
But before Forstall, it was Steve Jobs who encouraged the skeuomorphic approach, some say.
As Scott Forstall falls, Bob Mansfield rises. I can’t imagine what Forstall is feeling right now in his new advisor role to Tim Cook. Most likely a paid leave to allow him to save some face?
You can check out the rest of the letter here.