Cathy Edwards Stories January 19, 2016

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Former Chomp co-founder and Apple TV designer Ben Keighran leaving company

Chomp co-founder Ben Keighran is exiting his role at Apple according to a new report out of Re/code:

Ben Keighran, who joined Apple four years ago when it bought a startup he co-founded, says he is leaving soon and eventually intends to start something new. “I want to create not just a killer product, but my own iconic company,” he said.

Keighran joined Apple in 2012 when it bought his firm Chomp to overhaul iTunes and App Store search. Universal search among key media partners is a major feature of the new Apple TV. Chomp’s other co-founder Cathy Edwards joined Apple through that acquisition and worked on Maps Quality before leaving in March 2014.

The report notes that Keighran oversaw “the look and feel of the software on the new Apple TV” and ranked three steps down from Eddy Cue who runs the iTunes team. Here’s to hoping whoever takes Keighran’s place Chomps down on the finicky Siri Remote and creates something a little more ergonomic … kidding, Keighran likely played a key role in Apple TV’s universal search feature through Siri which works pretty well.

It is an interesting pattern to observe Apple employees brought on through company acquisitions leave Apple after the product they were brought on to help make ships to customers. Beats Music’s Ian Rogers comes to mind. My guess is people that create these companies are better suited at creating on their own versus working within a major company like Apple.

Cathy Edwards Stories June 9, 2014

TechCrunch is out with a story today with details on why some of the mapping features originally scheduled for iOS 8 didn’t make the cut at Apple’s WWDC keynote last week. The report quotes a few sources close to the mapping teams that say most of the improvements originally planned for iOS 8 weren’t finished on time due to talent departures and internal politics:

Why didn’t they appear? One tipster says it was a personnel issue: “Many developers left the company, no map improvements planned for iOS 8 release were finished in time. Mostly it was failure of project managers and engineering project managers, tasks were very badly planned, developers had to switch multiple times from project to project.”… It’s a take that is both contested and corroborated by our other source. “I would say that planning, project management and internal politics issues were a much more significant contributor to the failure to complete projects than developers leaving the group,” the source said.

We reported leading up to WWDC that the transit directions in iOS 8 might be pushed back to instead focus on other priorities.

While the TechCrunch report doesn’t mention any names, we do know that the mapping team has lost a few key people recently. Back in March, reports popped up that Cathy Edwards, who happened to be in charge of Maps Quality after joining Apple through the company’s acquisition of Chomp, was leaving the company. The reason behind Cathy’s departure was unknown at the time, but we’ve learned from sources that disagreements with employees on the Maps team working under Edwards and an opposition to her management style lead to problems on the Maps team and ultimately her leaving in April. Apple also lost key Maps team member Jared Waldman from Placebase who worked as Head of Geo at Apple Maps until late last year. In addition, we’ve heard from former employees of the mapping team that recently left the company due to issues with Edwards and management of the Maps team.  expand full story

Cathy Edwards Stories April 27, 2012

We reported in February that Apple acquired discovery app Chomp and was thought to be using the company’s technology to help improve the App Store and iTunes experience. We later confirmed Chomp’s CEO Ben Keighran and CTO Cathy Edwards already started working at Apple on the iTunes teams. Today, it appears Apple has shut down Chomp for Android with Chomp’s website now only listing links to iOS versions of the app, as noted by GigaOM.

The “Download Chomp” tab in the upper right corner of the Chomp.com now leads directly to the iTunes download page and only iPhone and iPad options are available for searching online. However, when searching for apps on the website, changing the platform to “Android” in the URL still allows you to view Android apps. As we noted earlier, Chomp helps power Verizon’s Android market, so it is unclear what will happen with that partnership going forward.

[tweet https://twitter.com/#!/g_____________n/status/195900431413673985] expand full story

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