Apple Fires Senior iOS Director Richard Williamson Over Troubled Apple Maps [Update]
Apple Inc. has fired the manager responsible for its troubled mapping software, seeking to win back the trust of users disappointed after the program debuted in September, according to people familiar with the move.
Richard Williamson, who oversaw the mapping team, was fired by Senior Vice President Eddy Cue, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information wasn’t yet public. Cue, who took over last month as part of a management shakeup, is seeking advice from outside mapping-technology experts and prodding digital maps provider TomTom NV (TOM2) to fix landmark and navigation data it shares with Apple.
With Williamson gone, sources say Eddy Cue is seeking to install a new leadership team for the maps group, but no replacements have been made known yet. He is also seeking outside help to fix Apple Maps and as noted, wants TomTom to fix their landmark and navigation data as the Apple shares the map data.
According to the report, one source noted the team at Apple has been working on fixing map errors, with their focus initially on the most obvious problems. As an example, satellite views over the U.K. have gotten better and major U.S. landmarks have received improved labels.
According to Williamson’s LinkedIn profile (which has yet to be updated to reflect this story), he become a senior director of iOS services in January of 2012, and was formerly a director of iOS software for 7 years prior to that. Before the latter position he was a senior software engineer at Apple for 4 years from 2001-2005.
Williamson’s was part of NeXT Computer from 1987 to 1994, a company founded by the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Williamson’s name appears as the inventor on 174 patents according to PatentMaps.com, which includes many related to mapping services.
Update: AllThingsD reports they have also heard from sources Williamson was fired.