OPINION: Robert Peckham discusses the possibility of a new look Apple in 2013

Robert Peckham predicts the New Year will bring some major management changes at Apple...
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Robert Peckham predicts the New Year will bring some major management changes at Apple...

When Steve Jobs sadly passed away last year, many industry commentators – including me – wondered how long it would be before the cracks started to show without someone like Jobs at the helm.

Well it’s taken over a year, but the cracks are now starting to appear.

Firstly, Apple very publicly sacked John Browett, the ex-Dixons CEO who only joined Apple six months ago as head of their global retail operations. Apparently he failed to grasp that Apple didn’t employ him to streamline and cut costs on their retail operations, and he wasn’t focused on improving the customer experience enough. Apple doesn’t like negative publicity, and with Browett they received lots of it.

But more significantly, the man who many believed would have been Steve Jobs’ own choice as his successor, Scott Forstall, is leaving the company. Unquestionably viewed as Steve's apprentice, Scott Forstall was hired straight from university by Jobs to work at NeXT, he then moved with him to Apple to head up various software projects.

Forstall is rumoured to be leaving because of the iOS maps software issue (another source of significant negative publicity for Apple) but in reality too many people in the executive team didn’t like his overbearing management style, which was very Steve Jobs-like, and some even refused to work with him. Apple’s share price took a significant dive at the news of his departure.

Tim Cook is certainly not the man to head Apple in the long-term, and everyone who is watching Apple agrees with this. After Scott Forstall’s departure, the name to watch is now Bob Mansfield, who actually retired from Apple earlier this year, but returned to head up Apple’s Technologies division after the news that Scott Forstall was leaving.

Bob oversees all the new technologies that drive Apple products forward, including all the real engineering innovations that Jonny Ive’s design team insist on.

As I write this, Apple’s share price is dropping significantly, and I reckon the New Year will see some major management changes announced at the company.

Robert Peckham is a 20-year veteran of the Apple reseller channel in the UK, and has managed many major Apple resellers. He founded the Mac Technology Association and was a director of the Technology Channels Association until their merger with CompTIA. He now runs MacTechnology, a consultancy for the Apple reseller channel, which includes the Mac Tech Team support service.

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