Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed why he decided to give Jony Ive responsibility for much of the future success of Apple in his interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek.Ive had only been in charge of Apple’s hardware design until Cook pushed Scott Forstall out of the company. Ive was then promoted to lead the look and feel of Apple’s software in addition to the look and feel of its hardware.
This effectively makes Ive the most important executive at Apple. He’s the new Steve Jobs, the person responsible for all future Apple products.
Cook said, “the changes that we made get us to a whole new level of collaboration.”
Forstall was reportedly not good at working with Apple’s other executives. He was also said to be a political operator in the company, managing up, taking credit for other people’s work, and shutting out other divisions.
By removing Forstall, Cook is removing an obstacle to collaboration.
As for the other part, Cook explained the promotion of Ive:
Jony, who I think has the best taste of anyone in the world and the best design skills, now has responsibility for the human interface. I mean, look at our products. (Cook reaches for his iPhone.) The face of this is the software, right? And the face of this iPad is the software. So it’s saying, Jony has done a remarkable job leading our hardware design, so let’s also have Jony responsible for the software and the look and feel of the software, not the underlying architecture and so forth, but the look and feel.
Got that? Ive made the best looking hardware product in the world. Now let’s let him add to overall feel of the product.
There’s another reason Ive won over Forstall, according to Gene Munster, analyst at Piper Jaffray. Speaking at our IGNITION conference, Munster pointed out that Apple is a hardware company.
As good as Apple’s software is, it’s the hardware that really makes Apple special. Most of the features of iOS have been copied by competitors, and in some cases enhanced.
So, if Cook had to pick between Ive and Forstall, it’s a no brainer to go with Ive.