Report: Apple axes Maps exec after app troubles


Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fired Richard Williamson, who oversaw the company's Maps team, according to media reports.

Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, first reported that Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue fired Williamson, who had been at Apple for ten years.

Cue is reportedly looking to build a new management team to replace Williamson. In addition, Bloomberg reported that Cue is consulting third-party mapping experts and pressuring TomTom to update the mapping data that Apple uses for its Maps application.

Williamson's departure is the latest major shakeup at the iPhone vendor. In October, Apple announced it would phase out iOS chief Scott Forstall, who previously served as Williamson's boss. Forstall will leave Apple next year and will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook in the interim. Forstall was reportedly ousted due to problems with Siri and Apple Maps, both of which he oversaw. Cue, as well as Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield and Craig Federighi, will absorb Forstall's duties at Apple, with Cue taking control of the Maps and Siri initiatives.

Since its debut, Apple Maps has been publicly lambasted for missing landmarks, incorrect proportions and other inaccuracies. In late September, Cook issued a public apology for the shortcomings of Apple Maps, stating, "We fell short."

Cook even suggested that iOS 6 users consider downloading alternatives from competitors such as Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing, Waze or MapQuest, or "use Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) or Nokia (NYSE:NOK) maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their Web app."

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this NYT article

Related articles:
Apple iOS chief Scott Forstall to leave company
Apple stays silent on promised Maps improvements
Apple CEO Cook apologizes for Maps, suggests alternatives Bing, Waze
Apple poaches Amazon exec Stasior to lead Siri unit
Report: Google Maps for Apple's iOS in final testing stages

This article was updated to include additional information about Williamson's role at Apple.