For the first time since Apple’s management shakeup, CEO Tim Cook has discussed his September firing of Scott Forstall and John Browett. In a long-ranging interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, the CEO makes it clear that the changes had much to do with maintaining an environment of collaboration.

Reading between the lines, it is clear from Cook’s comments that this was a goal not shared by either executive.

We have an enormous level of collaboration in Apple, but it’s a matter of taking it to another level. You look at what we are great at. There are many things. But the one thing we do, which I think no one else does, is integrate hardware, software, and services in such a way that most consumers begin to not differentiate anymore. They just care that the experience is fantastic.

Cook offers much praise for the members of his team that remain. Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jony Ive, for example, is described by Cook as having the “best taste of anyone in the world.”

Kind words are also said about Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, and for Bob Mansfield, the company’s senior vice president of technologies.

For the full interview, visit Bloomsberg Businessweek online.

This is Cook’s second meeting with the press in recent days. On tonight’s “Rock Center,” his interview with NBC’s Brian Williams will air.