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Apple Axes Head of Mapping Team 372

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the openstreetmaps-for-all dept.
New submitter drkim writes "'Apple has reportedly fired the head of its mapping team following software glitches which annoyed customers and rained mockery on the company.' Mr. Williamson promptly left Apple headquarters in Antarctica, and walked to his home in Middelfart, Denmark." Nerval's Lobster adds: "Cue is also 'seeking advice from outside map-technology experts' as well as 'prodding maps provider TomTom to fix landmark and navigation data it shares with Apple.'"
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Apple Axes Head of Mapping Team

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  • Was it justified (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ravaldy (2621787) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:15PM (#42118827)

    Was this guy setup for failure by having to meeting google map standards overnight?

    Firing people sometimes is an escape goat for companies mistakes.

    • by dintech (998802) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:21PM (#42118917)

      Mr. Williamson promptly left Apple headquarters in Antarctica, and walked to his home in Middelfart, Denmark.

      10,000 miles on Google Maps, just 2 or three on Apple Maps...

    • by tomknight (190939) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:23PM (#42118963) Homepage Journal
      An escape goat? Is that the opposite of a Trojan horse?
      • It's actually what Albanians use as life preservers on boats cuz they can't actually afford real life preservers. They actually did throw him off a boat in the middle of the Baltic Sea in the middle of Oklahoma, thus making him the "escape goat."
      • by fred911 (83970)

        ÂAn escape goat? Is that the opposite of a Trojan horse?Â

        No silly... It is what all the hip youngsters use to refer to a site their parents told them about called goatse.cx

    • Re:Was it justified (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Edgewize (262271) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:31PM (#42119123)

      No. Failing to deliver a quality product isn't the problem. The problem is if you promise to deliver a quality product, and then you fail.

      It seems to me like Apple wouldn't have made the switch right away on iOS 6 if they weren't confident that the software was ready. Someone had to stand up and say, "This is ready" or "This is not ready". If Mr. Williamson was in charge of it, and he told his bosses with confidence that it was ready, he should be fired. That's pretty straightforward.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:45PM (#42119335)
        Clearly you've never worked for a large company before.
        It wouldn't surprise me if he said over and over again "There's no way in hell this is ready", but they deployed it anyway.
        They probably also asked him "does it work at all?" to which he responded "sort of", and that was enough for them.
        That's how big companies work, they don't give a damn about your input.
        • by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:56PM (#42119537)

          You almost have it right. They certainly do ignore the worker bees who shout "it won't work", but they don't ignore management saying the same thing. Instead, people who never say "it won't work" slowly get promoted over people who do, and you end up with no one in management who will ever say "it won't work".

          I'm quite certain that this Mr. Williamson probably didn't say no to his bosses very often, and I don't particularly feel bad for him.

          • by Zalbik (308903) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @02:28PM (#42120967)

            I'm quite certain that this Mr. Williamson probably didn't say no to his bosses very often, and I don't particularly feel bad for him.

            Quite certain? Really? Quite certain?

            And on what, pray tell, do you base this certainty? Did you work for Mr. Williamson? Had you prior dealings with him? Have you worked for Apple and know their management style?

            Or is it just some self-justifying "this is the way I believe the world works, and I'm going to cover my ears and shout 'LA LA LA' ever time it doesn't"

            I'm quite certain the sun will rise tomorrow.
            I somewhat certain that it'll snow later this week
            I think that the LHC probably found the Higgs Boson.
            I have to f'ing clue whether Richard Williamson was a yes man or not.
            And neither do you.

            • by mjwx (966435) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @07:52PM (#42125139)

              I'm quite certain that this Mr. Williamson probably didn't say no to his bosses very often, and I don't particularly feel bad for him.

              Quite certain? Really? Quite certain?

              And on what, pray tell, do you base this certainty?

              The fact his bosses have openly and publicly acted like complete self adsorbed sociopath and will attack people who tell them they are wrong. The saying "Steve Jobs did not suffer fools" means that Steve Jobs did not like hearing things that he didn't want to hear.

              Look at Job's actions towards Google and Android OEM's, then get back to us. If that's not enough, go back to Antennagate when he told his own customers that they were the problem. If you don't understand the answer to your question by then, you have a problem.

        • by Sir_Sri (199544)

          And that's the question.

          Did they fire a guy who lied to his bosses about the state of his product? (And remember, Steve Jobs, much as I loathe him, would have done a demonstration with this app on stage, it would have gone through a ringer of testing for the man with the kool-aid to talk about, so there's a change in testing procedure here). That would be strongly legitimate grounds to be rid of someone.

          Or did they fire him because they screwed up, and want someone to blame?

          Or did they just want rid of hi

      • by timeOday (582209)
        I question whether it is even possible for something complex to become "Ready" entirely in-house, for release 1.0. I think the only way to do it is a protracted beta release. But would google have tolerated training its own replacement, as it were? If so, at what cost?
        • I think Google would have been happier to have a longer heads up so they could finish their own iOS app version of their maps.

      • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @01:13PM (#42119755)
        I don't know, it sounds more likely to me that it went
        "Rich, are the maps ready?"

        "What? No, we haven't finished testing."

        "Well, we told Google to fuck off this morning, so it's ready. Don't worry, I'll make sure everyone who matters knows that it went out too soon."

        (That afternoon in boardroom)

        "Yeah, Williamson assured me the maps were ready to go, so we told Google we weren't interested. My stock options just got a little sweeter."
      • If Williamson told management that the product would be ready at a certain time that's one thing, if Williamson was TOLD that he will deliver a product at a certain time, that's another. Its a little difficult to know which scenario actually played out. Either way, Apple can do what it wants with its engineering talent, short of breaking contracts. That includes treating them like mules struggling to carry loads that are much too heavy for them to lift. Just like Oracle, SCO, Autonomy...
      • by sjames (1099)

        In the corporate world, managers have their brains replaced with a salad spinner. Thus "There's no way it can be up to the standards of Google maps in just 6 months. We MAY be able to have an entry level prototype ready for internal testing by then. It'll need at least a year for production release and at least two to be better than Google." Becomes "Absolutely! It will be better than Google! I'm CERTAIN it will be ready for full production in 6 months!".

    • Making stupid, impossible to execute decisions and then having everyone under you fail to do them properly is definitely the way Apple has done business in the last couple years. That or refusing to properly fund the department despite record profits.
    • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:39PM (#42119237) Homepage Journal

      The real idiocy here was the fact that there was some idiot executive that insisted that the wheel be reinvented. They let hatered of Google get in the way of day-to-day business here. They could of made sure the google maps were easy to use on their devices and spent the effort coming up with something that Android doesn't do instead.

      They should be firing the person that a "mapping team" was a good idea to begin with.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sribe (304414)

        The real idiocy here was the fact that there was some idiot executive that insisted that the wheel be reinvented. They let hatered of Google get in the way of day-to-day business here. They could of made sure the google maps were easy to use on their devices and spent the effort coming up with something that Android doesn't do instead.

        They had no control over the maps app from google, nor on google's terms for use of google's maps API. There was no way to get key features (turn-by-turn directions) without meeting google's demands (for more user data).

        • Re:Was it justified (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @01:09PM (#42119709)

          Google offered to do turn by turn navigation for the inclusion of google branding. I don't think it's unreasonable to be expected to give credit to a company who's product is contributing one of the most useful software features to your phone. Apple is just trying to position themselves to defeat Android. It's too late, and they've come to a desperate point where they're trying to do things they aren't currently capable of.

          • I don't think it's unreasonable to be expected to give credit to a company

            No, it's not. That's why since the launch of the iPhone, Google Maps had a "Google" logo on the map. Applications written that used the mapping framework were forbidden from covering that or the app would be rejected.

            Google wanted an even larger logo, which does start to get unreasonable when it's much larger than what you have on Android - but they wanted a lot more than just a logo update...

            • Yes, they also wanted the inclusion of Latitude. Which is an opt-in service for the users.

              How, again, are those strenuous requirements?

        • According to various "sources," [slashdot.org] it was actually that Google wanted their logo on the maps app. Haven't heard anything about google demanding more data.

          And, why would apple be so concerned about not sharing their user data? They suddenly started taking an interest in user's privacy?

          No, MickyTheIdiot is probably more accurate: this is arrogance, greed, and ridiculous corporate branding, not a principled stand by Apple.
        • by shellbeach (610559) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @01:21PM (#42119873)

          There was no way to get key features (turn-by-turn directions) without meeting google's demands (for more user data).

          No, but they could have met Google's demands in the short-term easily enough until they had an alternative ready for release, rather than rushing out something prematurely. When you're already losing market share hand over fist, why give people another reason to switch to Android?

        • Re:Was it justified (Score:5, Interesting)

          by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @01:47PM (#42120311) Journal

          They had no control over the maps app from google

          The old iOS Maps app was written by Apple, actually. Google was only supplying the data.

          There was no way to get key features (turn-by-turn directions) without meeting google's demands (for more user data).

          The "more user data" part is bullshit. What Google asked is for them to add Latitude support to Maps. Latitude is an opt-in service that lets users (and therefore also Google) track each others' location. Unless users specifically enable it, no data is provided. And, personally, I find it a useful enough service that its absence in iOS Maps is actually a point against it.

        • They had no control over the maps app from google, nor on google's terms for use of google's maps API. There was no way to get key features (turn-by-turn directions) without meeting google's demands (for more user data).

          uh, no. the sticking point was that apple didn't want any google branding on the app.

      • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @01:26PM (#42119979)

        They let hatered of Google get in the way of day-to-day business here.

        Actually the opposite is true. They let reliance on Google go on for too long, using it as a crutch that hurt day-to-day business for years.

        Android had built-in turn by turn for years; not only could Apple not provide it in iOS, but developers could not write apps that provided turn-by-turn directions on top of the built in iOS mapping framework (it was against Google's TOS). So the whole platform was limited for years by Google restrictions on not just what Apple could do, but what any developer could do.

        Now that Google is out of the picture iOS users have turn by turn directions. They have vector maps. iOS developers can do whatever they want with the built in mapping framework now, without arbitrary Google limitations like limits on reverse geocoding per day, or having to avoid covering up the Google logo on the map, or (as stated) being able to show turn by turn directions on a map.

        Apple should have ditched Google maps much earlier before it got more painful for more users. But the fact is they had to do so, and at least now that it is done Apple can clean up the map data (the hardest part of mapping) and within a year should be essentially caught up for most areas. Already they have better satellite data in many areas than Google does, and they work better in China/Japan for native users (not as well for english users).

        • by flimflammer (956759) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @02:04PM (#42120545)

          You think in a year, Apple is going to be caught up to Google who has been constantly working on their mapping data all this time? You vastly underestimate the effort required in this type of job.

        • by farble1670 (803356) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @02:11PM (#42120683)

          Android had built-in turn by turn for years; not only could Apple not provide it in iOS, but developers could not write apps that provided turn-by-turn directions on top of the built in iOS mapping framework (it was against Google's TOS). So the whole platform was limited for years by Google restrictions on not just what Apple could do, but what any developer could do.

          do you think a company should get paid for the software they develop and the services they offer? apple didn't have turn-by-turn navigation because google refused to offer it, it's because apple wouldn't meet the licensing requirements. as far as any of us know and has been reported, the main sticking point was apple refused to have (more prominent) google branding on the app.

    • My thoughts exactly except the term is scapegoat.

      However it may have been due to poor management on his part though. Developers coming with good concerns and he wasn't taking them into consideration, or bringing them to the right level, because he was too afraid to tell his bosses bad news.

      It could also be that there is a disagreement on the design. And after one was chosen he didn't work hard to make it succeed. I have seen this a lot in IT. I disagree with your methodology, so I will follow it, howeve

    • by sootman (158191)

      We don't know what actually happened. As much as Apple wanted to get away from Google for whatever reasons, they want to make good products even more. Maybe he was fired because he told Tim that his maps would be as good as Google's, which led to Tim dropping Google, and when he didn't deliver good maps, that's what caused the firing. Maybe Tim would have been willing to live with Google a little longer if he thought it was necessary, but he was led to believe it wasn't.

      Tell the boss you can deliver, then d

  • so (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    so apple maps finally told someone, how to go, somewhere ?

  • Lessons (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:18PM (#42118875)

    The executive failed to deliver the impossible: a complete mapping system built from the ground up in a year or so. The result is that he gets sacked.

    The solution: Apple needs to stop picking fights. I'm sure Google would have given them the full turn-by-turn system if Apple would have paid for it. Apple has great hardware and software engineers. But they aren't good enough to replicate the technology its competitor has spent over a decade developing in just one year.

    • Re:Lessons (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MachDelta (704883) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:37PM (#42119209)

      Apple shot themselves in the foot on this.

      Option A) was to negotiate with Google (which they did) and accept paying more money and letting Google put their logo somewhere (which they didn't).

      Option B) was to to let it ride with no navigation (their contract with Google for just map data still had a year or two left before renewal) and work on their own map/nav system in the meantime, launching it when it was ready or the contract was up.

      Option C) was to abandon common sense, drop Google because they are evil, and quickly roll their own "superior" map/nav system on a greatly accelerated timespan. And pray that it's not a horrible, brand-damaging mess. Oops!

      • You forgot option D (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @01:12PM (#42119747)
        Option D: They could have straight forward have bought Tom Tom and use their application. TomTom's own devices that use the same map information had no trouble navigating where Apple was leading you nowhere. At the current share price it would be affordable for Apple to buy it and it would buy them an entrance into the dashboard of several large brands, that are already using built-in TomTom navigation devices.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Bigby (659157)

          Option E: Buy Garmin. Don't get criticized for shipping jobs overseas by running a mapping company from Europe like Tom Tom. Plus Garmin is better than everyone else, with their full suite of GPS-related products.

      • Option A) was to negotiate with Google (which they did) and accept paying more money and letting Google put their logo somewhere (which they didn't).

        iOS has ALWAYS has the Google logo on maps. Google wanted to increase the size.

        Also would paying more money have allowed iOS developers to also be able to provide turn by turn directions on Google maps? Because that was forbidden before. If not you only slightly helped the platform for a single app, not all of them.

        Option B) was to to let it ride with no nav

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by _xeno_ (155264)

          iOS has ALWAYS has the Google logo on maps. Google wanted to increase the size.

          Do you actually know that? My understanding is that they wanted the app to be called "Google Maps" and not "Maps," and possibly wanted the Google logo to be more opaque instead of the previous transparent gray-on-gray that the old Maps app used. Of course, no one knows if that's really true, it's just rumors.

          It already works really well for many people, especially the U.S. - it mostly needs work in Europe. But the actual navigation is very good.

          Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. I've actually used the turn by turn navigation in the US. While it was kind enough to take us past our destination, so we knew to stop and turn into it, it had decided that

    • The executive failed to deliver the impossible: a complete mapping system built from the ground up in a year or so. The result is that he gets sacked.

      This is where the word "no" comes up. As an executive, part of your job is to say "no" to impossible projects and explain why the answer is no. That's why you get paid the mega-ducats, FFS.

      • hint for the Exec folks

        If you hear the Mission Impossible theme from your employees then THE PROJECT IS DOOMED
        If you see a bunch of short swords RUN FOR YOUR LIFE

        for further details read the Yourdon book DEATHMARCH

    • The solution: Apple needs to stop picking fights. I'm sure Google would have given them the full turn-by-turn system if Apple would have paid for it. Apple has great hardware and software engineers. But they aren't good enough to replicate the technology its competitor has spent over a decade developing in just one year.

      Apple _was_ paying huge sums of money to Google for map data. They had the choice of continuing to pay to Google (which might have been a bad strategy, considering that for example Samsung doesn't seem to want to sell batteries to Apple anymore), or to do something about it. Short term pain, long term the right decision.

      And mapping data is not "developed over a decade". It is developed, and then it is permanently updated. So starting from zero you are not _that_ far behind.

  • On a major line, too! If only Apple maps had a "transit directions" feature...

  • Impossible (Score:5, Funny)

    by Covalent (1001277) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:26PM (#42119031)
    "Mr. Williamson promptly left Apple headquarters in Antarctica, and walked to his home in Middelfart, Denmark."

    That's impossible. Apple maps says Middelfart is south of Antarctica. Sheesh.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:28PM (#42119063)

    Personally I still like the new maps app. Even on my old iphone4 it's faster and easier to read and does everything I want. It's even got more features than the previous map app.
    Then again, I live in California and don't suffer from the bad map issues that other regions have had.

    Let's hope apple learns from this lesson. Old Jobs hasn't been in the ground long and already their first "convenience over QC" choice has come back to bite them. Jobs was a QC /fanatic/ and would not have let the shitty maps slip out (Or stay there for long) even if staying with google was a thorn in their side.

    And it was a thorn. Google is a competitor now. Google also wanted better terms if apple wanted to add new mapping features. Apple decided that it was not worth it.. And they were wrong.

    I think if Jobs was still here he'd have slapped people around, re-negotiated with Google, and quickly have a patch issued to revert the maps. We'll see if apple continues to stumble in this very un-apple like manner.

    With any luck google will issue a new maps app and everyone will be happy.

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      Yep, the new maps app is great... It's only the data which is a problem, and given that people have spent years not complaining about tom tom's data, it would seem that the data isn't that bad either, though I'm sure there's room for improvement. Then again, I'm sure there is on google maps too... just look at vladivostok to see that.

    • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:51PM (#42119445) Homepage

      Jobs was a QC /fanatic/ ... .

      You definition of either Quality Control or fanatic differs from mine. In particular, Apple has NEVER been about QC. You don't buy Rev 1 of anything Apple unless you are a dyed in wool fanboy. You don't load x.x.0 of any Apple OS unless you are a dyed in wool masochist.

      Yeah, Apple eventually gets it right, mostly. But they've never adhered to the 'fix it before it ships' mentality.

      • by Uberbah (647458)

        You definition of either Quality Control or fanatic differs from mine. In particular, Apple has NEVER been about QC.

        Right, which is why they are routinely at or near the top of hardware reliability and customer satisfaction ratings for OEM's.

      • i worked at another larger mobile device manufacturer at one point in my life. they were generally pissed that apple got away with shipping such crap. the sort of things apple gets away with because they are apple are the same things that would be a disaster for other companies.

    • by Nerdfest (867930)

      It wasn't "convenience over QC" ... it was pretty clearly "greed and arrogance over QC". It was most definitely not convenient to release their own mapping application early.

    • by Tridus (79566)

      I would too, except I went from high res full color imagery in my area to low res greyscale imagery.

      Yes, really. It's like going through a time warp. The quality of the app is not bad. The quality of the data and imagery is a travesty compared to what Google offered.

  • It was the 3rd most useful feature for me, after the actual phone/sms components of the phone!

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:31PM (#42119119)
    Some people tried to take a photo with their iPhone 5 of him leaving Apple headquarters but there was a huge purple flare over most of it so you can't even tell who it is. They must have been holding it wrong or the sun in that part of the US actually is purple.
    • That's what a middlefart looks like in the Antarctica sunshine.
    • by guttentag (313541) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @01:39PM (#42120211) Journal

      Some people tried to take a photo with their iPhone 5 of him leaving Apple headquarters but there was a huge purple flare over most of it so you can't even tell who it is. They must have been holding it wrong or the sun in that part of the US actually is purple.

      Silicon Valley resident here with a helpful local geography lesson.

      Around here, Apple Headquarters is in Cupertino, Sun was in Santa Clara, and "All Things Purple" (Yahoo) is in Sunnyvale.

      • by guttentag (313541)
        Oh, and if Sun looks purple, that's just because Ellison is busy choking it to death in Redwood Shores.
  • by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:31PM (#42119135)
    I think the bigger problem was rushing the product out, full of bugs, rather than lack of expertise or unreliable data. It would have been wiser to let it mature a bit more like Google did. Somebody had to be the guy that said, "Eh, it is good enough, let's ship."

    Whether it was his call or not is another matter.
    • Re:Wrong problem? (Score:4, Informative)

      by BasilBrush (643681) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:36PM (#42119195)

      It would have been wiser to let it mature a bit more like Google did.

      Huh? Google maps was full of errors and omissions when it came out. It improved over the years.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        But it was better then anything else that was out.
        So In would expect the next map to be better then the current ones. Not perfect, just better.
        I think Apple was concerned more about looks then accuracy.

        I think Tim Cook is on the second letter.

  • by GreatDrok (684119) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:32PM (#42119145) Journal

    I was a frequent user of MapQuest when Google Maps appeared and for a good while there were glitches with Google Maps just like Apple is experiencing so I stuck with MapQuest. Google Maps are only as good as they are now because of all the time invested but even now they get it wrong. I was visiting a friend in Alabama and Google put his street address two miles away from the actual location.

    The major loss with Apple Maps is the lack of public transport directions and for that reason alone, Google Maps needs to return. Until then, my phone is staying on iOS 5.

    • by cathector (972646)

      > Until then, my phone is staying on iOS 5.

      i'm considering attempting to install iOS 5 on my iPhone 5 for this reason.

    • by jerpyro (926071)

      I used Mapblast (which became MSN Maps) because Mapquest's interface was TERRIBLE. But I agree, Google maps wasn't very good in the beginning either.
      I guess that just shows how old I am :-P

  • Google was quoted as having said that they have a 400 year advantage [telemapics.com] over Apple maps.

    Questions are:
    Is this true?

    Does it make sense?

    Is there a way Apple can reduce these several centuries into a few years?

    I'll answer myself on that last question:

    Yes they can; by throwing one tenth of their $120 billion at the effort. I'd be happy to be part of it.

    • by hey! (33014)

      Well, being a software developer, I can believe that Google has a 400 year lead if you stipulate that Apple has to *fix* the product it has now rather than develop an entirely new one.

      That said, I expect if Google really claimed it had a 400 year lead it probably meant 400 man-years.

  • Taking the fall... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erp_consultant (2614861) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:49PM (#42119413)

    The problem wasn't so much that the Apple maps were terrible. With a few notable exceptions it actually wasn't bad for a first attempt. Remember, Google Maps wasn't very good at first either. The problem was promoting the Apple Maps as this awesome, fantastic piece of software. Someone in the Apple management chain needed to say "Uh Tim, maybe we should dial back the excitement a bit on this maps thing. Have you seen it? It needs work.". Evidently nobody did so Cook rolled it out thinking it was great and it wasn't.

    Cook looks like an idiot, and by extension so does Apple, so something had to be done about it. He can't allow that to happen. If they lie to him about Maps then how can he trust them to tell him the truth about the next product? If I were him I would have done exactly the same thing. He needs to send a message to management that this sort of thing won't be tolerated. If the product is not ready then fine, we'll figure out something but don't bullshit me and leave me hanging out to dry in front our customers. It might seem harsh but these people are getting paid a ton of money to make the right decisions. If you screw up you're gone.

  • It seems like firing people is now a way of solving problems at Apple. I can't recall too many high profile firings during Steve Jobs tenure (may be I am not digging far enough, but still). Wonder what that means.

    That said, primary failure of new Apple maps is not in what it does, but what it does not do. As driving maps go, they are fine. They have their share of errors, but so do Google maps. In fact just yesterday Google maps insisted that a whole block of streets was open and available for me to drive t

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @01:48PM (#42120337)

      I can't recall too many high profile firings during Steve Jobs tenure

      You mean like Mark Papermaster [nytimes.com] over the iPhone 4 antenna issues? Or the Mobile Me team lead?

      Oh.

      Has everyone here got some kind of amnesia? Because Jobs stories are rife with him firing people that displeased him. The current firings seem quite mild by comparison.

      Oddly people now seem to think Apple under Steve Jobs was some kind of perfect mecca of products without issues and never an employee fired. That was never the case, but Apple Haters sure like to claim it was.

  • Tim Cook next? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @01:03PM (#42119633)

    Anybody thinking Tim Cook should remain CEO of Apple needs their head read.

    I think that is wasn't the man in charge of Maps that should have gotten the ax, but the guy that decided to drop a working product in favor of a broken product and then stood on a stage and claimed it was better then all the rest.

    I know the decision to drop Google Maps all began with Steve Jobs, however after his passing and Tim Cook taking over certainly there should have been some review of the companies projects to determine if Apple should stay on the same course. At some point I am sure someone must have fired up the Maps app and realized it was no-where near ready for prime-time.

    If Tim Cook is going to blindly follow in Jobs footsteps and not make any executive decision that didn't originate from something Jobs began then I think he should step down or be ousted. Any sane CEO should have yanked the Maps product from the iOS 6 release schedule for lacking to match the quality of the app it was replacing. Yes, maybe it would have looked like egg on his face for postponing a highly publicized new feature, but it would have been far less worse then issuing an apology for releasing the app in the first place.

    And what the f*ck about iTunes 11? There is only 2 days left in November and Apple still proudly boasts it is coming in November. Just like they proudly boasted it was coming in October. I think iTunes 11 is another fiasco in the making.

    You can't just keep firing your top exec's without realizing that that man at top needs to start taking responsibility for the state of the company he is supposedly running. Apple doesn't need a caretaker, it needs a leader, Cook is not a leader.

  • by hAckz0r (989977) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @02:53PM (#42121309)
    I have seen this behaviour many times before. When a bad manager is over-stressed to perform they often resort to firing those that didn't/couldn't implement their 'bad management plan'. When that doesn't fix things fast enough they will just fire another token manager to shift the blame yet again. For now I think we can sit back and watch the slow downward spiral in both Apple and Microsoft as they both jettison all the lesser management bots until they (the management) get replaced themselves, by the voice of the shareholders. From there its a very slow crawl back uphill to reclaim lots of lost ground, as the markets have shifted away from them and on to their other competitors.

    With Steve Jobs no longer in the picture its only natural for Apple to have minor shifts in direction and to be making a few bad decisions along the way. Steve was a visionary for the most part, but honestly I'll never understand his sudden switch from a 'product oriented distinction' market to a 'throw Apple under the bus' with the 'Thermonuclear Campaign against Android' market. I used to love Apple products, but now I just can't. I just wish Apple's current management would go back to the old style of creating good quality products, and let the people simply choose the better product. But today what we have is what we have, a company continually making mistakes and placing the blame on those who were not truly in control. Control is at the top, and the top is failing miserably at the moment.

    Apple, please, please, please, prove me wrong. If not its just a matter of time before the shareholders speak up. [Un]fortunately I have already spoken, as my broker knows very well that he will get fired if he invests anything of mine in Apple.

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