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Apple's top iOS and retail execs to leave company

Scott Forstall, Apple's iOS chief, will leave the company next year.

Apple's head of retail, John Browett, will also be leaving the company after less than a year on the job.

According to an Apple press release, Forstall will serve as an adviser to Apple CEO Tim Cook until his departure. Existing execs Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue, and Craig Federighi will take on roles currently handled by Forstall.

The announcement comes about a year after reports that Forstall was Apple's "CEO in waiting," which no longer appears to be in the cards. He joined Apple in 1997 and is one of the original architects of Mac OS X and its Aqua user interface, according to his bio. Prior to Apple, he worked at Steve Jobs' NeXT venture.

Though iOS 6 was quickly adopted by millions of Apple users, the lacklustre Maps app led to complaints and, ultimately, an apology from Cook.

In a statement, Cook did not specifically address Forstall or the other execs.

"We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple's history," Cook said. "The amazing products that we've introduced in September and October, iPhone 5, iOS 6, iPad mini, iPad, iMac, MacBook Pro, iPod touch, iPod nano and many of our applications, could only have been created at Apple and are the direct result of our relentless focus on tightly integrating world-class hardware, software and services."

Going forward, lead designer Ive will also handle Human Interface issues. "His incredible design aesthetic has been the driving force behind the look and feel of Apple's products for more than a decade," Apple said.

Cue, now senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, will also be responsible for Siri and the troubled Maps app, putting all online services in one group.

Federighi, senior vice president of Mac Software Engineering, will now lead iOS and OS X. That's not too surprising given that fact that OS X Mountain Lion incorporated many features from iOS and tied the mobile and desktop operating systems more closely together.

Mansfield, who announced his retirement in June before reversing course last month, will lead a new group at Apple known as Technologies. It will combine all of Apple's wireless teams - including semiconductor - across the company in one organisation.

On the retail side, meanwhile, Apple said in a very brief statement that Browett will be departing. It appears he is already out; Apple said a search for a new retail chief is underway and the retail team is reporting to Cook in the interim.

"Apple's Retail organization has an incredibly strong network of leaders at the store and regional level who will continue the excellent work that has been done over the past decade to revolutionize retailing with unique, innovative services for customers," Apple said.

Browett made headlines recently after a staffing blunder led to some Apple Store employees' hours being cut and prompted fears of layoffs. Browett reportedly instructed leadership teams to tell employees that that the company "messed up."

Apple tapped Browett to lead the company's retail strategy back in January, and he took the reins in April. Browett was Tim Cook's first external executive hire since Cook became the CEO of Apple last year, and he took over for Ron Johnson, who now heads up JC Penney.