Mobile

Apple’s Scott Forstall lost his job after he refused to apologize for Maps, reports say

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Apple executive Scott Forstall refused to sign a public apology for the disastrous launch of Apple’s iOS Maps app.

A month later, he was forced out of his position of responsibility and into a year-long “consulting” gig that is most likely a way to keep him close, and prevent him from going to a competitor too quickly.

That’ll teach him to say no to the boss.

Apple announced Forstall’s departure earlier today, but as with most such announcements, details were not forthcoming.

Now, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times both report that Forstall refused to sign an apology letter, citing “sources familiar with the matter.” That’s probably code for official sources within Apple who want to discredit Forstall while remaining off the record.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook did put his name on the apology to customers on September 28, after much public outcry over the new app’s many shortcomings. Those included images of melting cities, inexplicably distorted satellite views, and disappearing landmarks, along with many other hilariously bad aerial views. While the visual glitches were amusing, the app also frequently sent customers in the wrong direction — sometimes wildly so. Cartography expert and geography professor Mike Dobson figured that Apple wildly underestimated the difficulty of creating a complete map application.

Forstall, the Times reports, was “ambitious and divisive,” and was the Apple executive whose personality most resembled the late Steve Jobs. The difference: Jobs was the boss, and he could get away with it.