In the middle of a huge week for Apple, CEO Tim Cook and a number of other executives from the company are profiled in an interesting new story from Bloomberg Businessweek.
The story is wide-ranging and also quotes Apple executives Jony Ive, Jeff Williams, and more.
A big moment during Cook’s tenure has been the firing of Scott Forstall after the Apple Maps debacle in iOS 6:
The decisive moment for Cook came at the end of his first year as CEO when he fired Scott Forstall, one of Jobs’s most trusted lieutenants. Forstall had led software development for the iPad and iPhone; he was also divisive and responsible for the poorly received Apple Maps and Siri voice recognition service. There was an audible gasp in Apple’s offices when the dismissal was announced, say people who were there. Cook immediately convened meetings with senior managers to explain how the new structure was going to work. Jonathan Ive, Apple’s head of design, was given control over the look and feel of iOS while development of the mobile operating system was consolidated with Mac software under Craig Federighi, the senior vice president for software engineering. It was a plan designed to break down walls and extinguish infighting, executed with precision. Cook says he has “nothing bad to say” about Forstall and “has no regrets.”
Ive takes time to talk about the Apple Watch, which was officially introduced earlier this month. The device was in development for around three years:
With an Apple Watch wrapped around his hand brass-knuckle style, Ive reveals that the project was conceived in his lab three years ago, shortly after Jobs’s death and before “wearables” became a buzzword in Silicon Valley. “It’s probably one of the most difficult projects I have ever worked on,” he says. There are numerous reasons for this—the complexity of the engineering, the need for new physical interactions between the watch and the human body—but the one most pertinent to Ive is that the Apple Watch is the first Apple product that looks more like the past than the future. The company invited a series of watch historians to Cupertino to speak, including French author Dominique Fléchon, an expert in antique timepieces. Fléchon says only that the “discussion included the philosophy of instruments for measuring time” and notes that the Apple Watch may not be as timeless as some classic Swiss watches: “The evolution of the technologies will render very quickly the Apple Watch obsolete,” he says.
Williams isn’t as well known as Cook or Ive, but the senior vice president for operations is in charge of the Apple Watch program. The device won’t hit the market until early 2015, something Williams and Cook aren’t apologetic for:
“We want to make the best product in the world,” he says. “One of our competitors is on their fourth or fifth attempt, but nobody is wearing them.” Cook also preaches patience. “We could have done the watch much earlier, honestly, but not at the fit and finish and quality and integration of these products,” he says. “And so we are willing to wait.”
The entire story is definitely worth reading if you’re interested about Apple and how the company has changed since Steve Jobs’ death. For other news today, see: HealthKit issue in iOS 8 causes Apple to temporarily remove some fitness apps, Profit margins continue to drop on the iPhone 6, but Apple shouldn’t be worried, and Apple never planned to use sapphire crystal on the iPhone 6.