Apple has announced the departure of two high profile executives in the firm's biggest management shakeup since...
co-founder Steve Jobs stepped down as chief executive.
The announcement comes after embarrassing accuracy problems with Apple’s newly-launched mapping software and disappointing quarterly financial results.
Scott Forstall, head of Apple’s iOS software, is to leave next year, serving as an adviser to chief executive Tim Cook in the interim.
Head of retail John Browett, the former Dixons boss, is also leaving after just six months in the job.
Apple gave no specific reasons for the departures, saying only that the moves were a way to increase collaboration across its hardware, software and services businesses.
But Forstall has faced calls for his dismissal over the Apple Maps debacle, while Browett’s efforts to cut back staffing at the firm's stores provoked a backlash and U-turn, according to the BBC.
Apple's fourth quarter profits of $8.2bn and the 14 million iPads it sold in the quarter both fell short of analysts' expectations.
Analysts said Browett was seen as one of Cook's big hires, but the fact he has moved him out after such a short time may be seen as the Apple boss demonstrating a ruthless, but efficient streak.
Forstall, who has been described as Apple’s CEO-in-waiting, has become the scapegoat for Apple’s embarrassment over iOS 6’s mapping software, according to some analysts.
Apple said that four key executives, including top designer Jony Ive, would "add responsibilities to their roles."
Eddy Cue, senior vice-president of internet software and services, will take charge of Apple Maps and Apple's Siri voice recognition technology. The retail team will report directly to Cook until a replacement for Browett can be found.
The company said Ive will provide "leadership and direction for Human Interface across the company" in addition to his role as the leader of industrial design.
"We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple's history," said Cook.
"The amazing products that we've introduced in September and October, iPhone 5, iOS 6, iPad mini, iPad, iMac, MacBook Pro, iPod touch, iPod nano and many of our applications, could only have been created at Apple and are the direct result of our relentless focus on tightly integrating world-class hardware, software and services."