Apple fires head of maps unit
The company is still reeling from a series of high-profile errors in its new maps software, and reportedly wants to rebuild the team in charge.
The company has fired Richard Williamson, the leader of the mapping team, Bloomberg reports. The shakeup was caused, in part, by Eddy Cue, the senior vice president who was just given managerial oversight of maps.
The Maps mistake was a rare screwup for the company, and a high-profile one as it attempts to offer a competitive alternative to the popular maps from Google (GOOG) and others. Apple said that London was in Canada, according to reports. It couldn't find Tokyo Station, one of the world's most important train stations. This Tumblr site has a great collection of forehead-smacking errors.
Apple responded to the flub by dismissing Scott Forstall, the head of its mobile software unit, last month. Forstall was known as a divisive, polarizing figure that other managers avoided, and some employees were ecstatic after he left.
Apple apparently had more housecleaning in mind. Bloomberg reports that Cue wants to install a brand new management team for the maps division, and is consulting with outside mapping experts. Employees are also working with TomTom NV (TMOAF), the digital maps company that provides mapping content, to get fixes for some of landmark and navigation errors.
Apple is also said to be aggressively stealing mapping experts away from Google in hopes of perfecting its service.
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Without Steve Jobs this is probably going to be the norm for Apple here on out...
Small updates to there existing products and lots of bugs..
The new Maps is an unmittigated disaster.
I've put in exact addresses -- sometimes including city, state, and zip -- only to have the program give me some completely random location. Sometimes the street name will be close -- can you say autocorrect -- and sometimes it will be completely unrelated, like not even in the same state. I don't even try to find something like a landmark or hotel anymore. It's screwed those up way too many times.
But it sure is pretty to look at.
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ABOUT BILL FLECKENSTEIN
This column is a synopsis of Bill Fleckenstein's daily column on his website, FleckensteinCapital.com, which he's been writing on the Internet since 1996. Click here to find Fleckenstein's most recent articles.
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