updated 11:15 am EST, Thu December 6, 2012
Claims executive shakeup was about 'collaboration'
In the Business Week interview in which he talks about US manufacturing plans, Apple CEO Tim Cook also addresses several other topics, such as the firings of iOS head Scott Forstall and recently-hired retail chief John Browett, which forced a reorganization of duties. Although not referring to the other executives by name, Cook claims that the shakeup was meant to foster "collaboration," which he calls "essential for innovation" and a core value at Apple, something co-founder Steve Jobs allegedly believed in.
"You have to be A-plus at collaboration," Cook says. "And so the changes that we made get us to a whole new level of collaboration. We've got services all in one place, and the guy that's running that has incredible skills in services, has an incredible track record, and I'm confident will do fantastic things."
Talking about Jonathan Ive, who is now in charge of a Human Interface division, he says that the designer has "the best taste of anyone in the world." Cook suggests that it only makes sense for Ive to be involved in software as well as hardware design, since iOS is the "face" of Apple's mobile devices. "Jony has done a remarkable job leading our hardware design, so let's have Jony responsible for the software and the look and feel of the software," he says. "Not the underlying architecture and so forth, but the look and feel."
In another part of the interview, Cook tackles the iOS 6 Maps debacle that has generated harsh criticism and is typically credited as the reason for Forstall's firing. He denies that Apple put corporate strategy -- severing itself from Google -- over customer satisfaction. In order to provide new features, Cook argues, Apple had to develop the technology itself. About fixing Maps, the CEO says that a substantial effort is underway.
"We're putting all of our energy into making it right," he explains. "And we have already had several software updates. We've got a huge plan to make it even better. It will get better and better over time. But it wasn't a matter that we...decided strategy over customers. We screwed up. That's the fact."