There have been several reports that have noted ex-iOS chief Scott Forstall’s fiery relationship with several Apple executives like Jonathan Ive. Despite this, according to a former Apple senior engineer, Michael Lopp, firing Forstall was a mistake. Lopp posted his thoughts on his blog, and the theme of the post was that Apple will eventually be replaced by another company’s innovations (as most usually are). He wondered if the firing of Forstall is where the downslide will begin.
Lopp said Forstall “was the best approximation of Steve Jobs that Apple had left.” He added that several people chatting in Apple’s Caffe Macs cafeteria viewed Forstall as the only real successor to Jobs. Even though it appeared Forstall did not work well with several of his co-workers, being called an “asshole,” he was successful in what he did. Lopp said this is why he could have been the next Jobs.
With the executive shakeup, Apple said this would lead to more collaboration within the walls of Apple. Lopp said this is not necessarily a good thing:
The word that worried me the most in the press release was in the first sentence. The word was “collaboration”. Close your eyes and imagine a meeting with Steve Jobs. Imagine how it proceeds and how decisions are made. Does the word collaboration ever enter your mind? Not mine. I’m just sitting there on pins and needles waiting for the guy to explode and rip us to shreds because we phoned it in on a seemingly unimportant icon.
A separate Apple ex-executive, Andy Miller, said in an interview earlier this month: “[Forstall was such a talented guy, to me he was Mr. Apple. He knew the company inside and out.” Speaking to Forstall’s work ethic, he added, “He was under a massive amount of pressure to get software releases out, and he got it done.”
While some may speculate on the death clock of Apple after the shakeup, others have looked at what product changes will come…and maybe those are for the better.