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Apple software, retail chiefs out in overhaul

SAN FRANCISCO--Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook on Monday pushed out the powerful head of the company's mobile software products group, sources said, in a major management shake-up that also claimed the recently hired chief of the retail stores division.

Scott Forstall, a long-time lieutenant of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, was asked to leave following years of friction with other top executives and his recent refusal to take responsibility for the mishandling of the Apple's much-criticized mapping software, people familiar with the situation said.

Sources said Forstall refused to sign a public apology after Apple's mapping product, which displaced the popular Google Maps on the iPhone and the iPad in September, contained embarrassing errors and drew fierce criticism.

Instead, Cook signed the letter last month.

Forstall will leave the company next year, Apple said in a statement. He did not respond to emails seeking comment.

The executive changes are the biggest at Apple in more than a decade, and mark the first major move by Cook to shape his own management team since Jobs' death a year ago.

John Browett, who was hired as the company's retail chief just seven months ago after serving as CEO of UK electronics retailer Dixon's, will also leave Apple.

His efforts to improve profits at the stores had alienated employees and sources close to Apple said Cook had concluded he was simply the wrong person for the job.

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In this June 11 photo, Apple Senior Vice President of iPhone Software Scott Forstall demonstrates the new map application featured on iOS 6 during the keynote address in San Francisco, California. Forstall, a long-time lieutenant of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

(AFP)

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