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Apple axes Maps head in wake of customer backlash

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Stuart Thomas: Motorburn Editor
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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Looks like Scott Forstall wasn’t the only one to get the chop for Apple’s disastrous maps fiasco. The Cupertino-based giant has also axed the head of its mapping division Richard Williamson.

According to Bloomberg, citing people within the company, Williamson was pushed out by senior vice president Eddy Cue, who benefited from the management shakeup in that came along with Forstall’s departure. He is also reportedly working closely with mapping experts and TomTom to fix errors in the data Apple shares with the navigation company. When Forstall was fired, Maps and Siri came under Cue’s remit, putting all of Apple’s online services under one group.

Apple launched its own mapping software in a bid to break free from Google, whose mapping service had been baked into iOS since the launch of the original iPhone in 2007. The split was part of Apple’s to distance itself at every opportunity from its fiercest rival in the mobile OS game.

The roll out seemed a bit hasty though, and Tim Cook was forced to apologise for launching a product that wasn’t ready for mass adoption.

Cue’s decision to remove Williamson will reportedly allow him to set up a new leadership team within the company, although it’s unclear who will replace the axed Maps chief.

According to Bloomberg, Cue was especially close to Steve Jobs and has been called in to fix broken products before. Jobs used him to fix the MobileMe Internet-storage service, although it was eventually replaced by iCloud.

He also led negotiations with a number of TV, movie and music companies during his time as head of iTunes.