Apple dropped two of its top executives today in the wake of embarrassing software mistakes and criticism over cuts in retail staffing, Reuters reports. Software chief Scott Forstall—once considered a future replacement for Tim Cook—will depart next year and remain as an adviser to Cook until then. Forstall had overseen Apple's mapping software, which misplaced the Statue of Liberty and advised users to drive into bodies of water. (A Tumblr documents some of its blunders.)
"These changes show that Tim Cook is stamping his authority on the business," says one analyst. "Perhaps ... Forstall became the scapegoat" over Maps issues. For now, Apple is spreading Forstall's duties among a team of current executives that will jointly design iOS and OS X—perhaps signaling "increasing unity across Apple’s desktop and mobile software," writes Darrell Etherington at TechCrunch. Apple will also replace retail chief John Browett, who ruffled feathers by cutting back on retail staff in Apple stores.