Second Apple exec leaves in wake of maps app debacle

Nov 28, 2012

‘Product resuscitator’ Eddy Cue takes over as Apple maps supervisor is removed

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THE FALL-OUT over Apple’s disastrous own-brand maps app has claimed its second victim: mapping team supervisor Richard Williamson.

He is the second person whose departure from Apple has been linked to the map app, which provoked widespread ridicule when it was released as part of the iOS6 mobile operating system update along with the iPhone 5 in September.

Senior executive Scott Forstall was reportedly asked to leave in October after he refused to put his name to a public apology for the maps debacle.

People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Williamson’s departure is part of a shake-up of the mapping team being organised by senior vice president Eddy Cue, an Apple veteran of 23 years who has just been put in charge of maps.
Cue, who is known as Apple’s ‘product resuscitator’, has a huge job on his hands. Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst at Forrester Research, said: “Maps are a mission-critical application, and consumers have to trust that what they are seeing is correct. Apple will have to work really hard to re-earn that trust.”

The failure of the maps app, which came at the same time as the Google Maps for iPhone app became obsolete, overshadowed the simultaneous launch of the iPhone 5.

As Gizmodo notes: “The only news more prominent than the iPhone 5 release itself was how maligned Apple's homemade mapping app was, and how much we all missed Google's.”

Cue is bringing in a new leadership team for maps and is consulting with mapping technology experts from outside Apple. He is also asking sat-nav giant Tom Tom, which provides the data for Apple Maps, to fix the cartographical cock-ups.

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