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Apple Shares Fall Below $600 After Shakeup
By Jennifer LeClaire
Posted: October 31, 2012 1:53pm PDT

"The buggy and poor-performing Maps app, which displaced Google Maps as part of the iOS 6 launch, has been a black eye for Apple," wrote JPMorgan Chase analyst Mark Moskowitz of Apple's shakeup. "The one risk, in our view, is if [Scott] Forstall potentially heads to a competitor such as Google or Microsoft to build out their mobile operating system prowess."

It's not often that Apple shares dip -- and even more rare for Apple shares to dip below the $600 mark. But that's just what happened in the wake of Apple CEO Tim Cook's management shakeup in the midst of Hurricane Sandy.

Apple shares in early trading declined by as much as 1.6 percent compared with Tuesday's closing price. Apple shares dropped below $600 to $594.35 on Tuesday and again to close at $595.32 by Wednesday.

That's the first time since July that Apple closed a day on the stock market below the $600 mark. Although it's not certain that the stock dips were a reaction to the executive shakeup Apple announced, it's clear that something is going on. Apple's stock has lost more than $100 a share since Sept. 21 despite the launch of the iPad mini and new iPad.

Impact of Forstall's Departure

Within the Apple ranks, Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi are getting a heavier workload while Scott Forstall, iOS chief, and John Browett, head of the retail team, are leaving Apple.

"Both departures were likely forced by Apple's CEO and weren't voluntary," Amit Daryanani, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a research report. "While there will be concerns about future execution given Mr. Forstall's departure, we note that Apple has navigated through past turnovers impeccably."

The Wall Street Journal is reporting drama around Forstall. The Journal says Cook wanted Forstall to sign an official apology letter to customers for the poor navigation and quality of Apple Maps and he refused.

"The buggy and poor-performing Maps app, which displaced Google Maps as part of the iOS 6 launch, has been a black eye for Apple," Mark Moskowitz, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co., wrote in a research report. "The one risk, in our view, is if Forstall potentially heads to a competitor such as Google or Microsoft to build out their mobile operating system prowess."

The New Apple Lineup

The shake up leaves Federighi to lead both iOS and OS X. Cook must figure Federighi's leadership behind OS X -- along with the merging functionalities between the desktop and mobile Relevant Products/Services operating system -- positions him well to lead the charge.

Meanwhile, Ive will provide direction for Human Interface across the company. That's in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design. Apple says his design aesthetic has been the driving force behind the look and feel of its products for more than a decade.

Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, will heap Siri and Maps onto his plate. That puts all Apple's online services under his leadership. Cue has shown success with the iTunes Store, App Store, iBookstore and the iCloud.

Finally, Bob Mansfield will lead a new group, Technologies, which combines all of Apple's wireless teams across the company in one organization. This organization will also include the semiconductor teams, who have ambitious plans for the future.

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