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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Apple Fires Maps Manager

Apple continues to clean house after it stumbled badly with its mobile mapping service, firing a manager who oversaw it.

Eddy Cue, the senior vice president for Internet software and services at Apple, fired the manager, Richard Williamson, according to two people briefed on the matter who did not want to be named to avoid Apple's ire. Mr. Cue dismissed Mr. Williamson shortly before Thanksgiving, according to one of these people.

Bloomberg News first reported Mr. Williams's firing.

Several Apple representatives didn't respond to inquiries about Mr. Williamson, and he did not respond to a message sent to him through the business networking site LinkedIn, which as of Tuesday afternoon had a profile listing him as presently employed at Apple as senior director of iOS platform services.

The firing of Mr. Williamson follows a management shakeup at Apple in late October, when Timothy D. Cook, Apple's chief executive, fired Scott Forstall, the former hea d of Apple's mobile software development. Mr. Cook made that change after months of simmering tensions between Mr. Forstall and other executives, which were exacerbated by the disappointing release of Apple's maps.

As part of that shakeup, Mr. Cook gave Mr. Cue oversight of Apple Maps, along with Siri, the company's sometimes ridiculed voice-activated assistant technology in the iPhone.

The maps service has been widely criticized for offering incorrect addresses, misplaced landmarks and misleading driving directions. Mr. Cook, in a rare move, publicly apologized for the deficiencies of the service and recommended that disappointed customers use mapping services from Apple's rivals while the company worked out the kinks.