Steve Ballmer retires (get’s fired is more likely).

…in important news: Ben Affleck is the new Batman.

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Google’s reality distortion field.

Wow, Larry Page, CEO of Google, sure does live in a bubble…

Page expects his employees to create products and services that are 10 times better than the competition

Ok…name one.

…it’s hard to find actual examples of really amazing things that happened solely due to competition. How exciting is it to come to work if the best you can do is trounce some other company that does roughly the same thing?

Truth. Look at all the me-too’s like Android, cheap tablets, “Ultrabooks”, plastic smartphones…hey, what ever happened to Google TV, Wave, et al.?

You may say that Apple only does a very, very small number of things, and that’s working pretty well for them. But I find that unsatisfying.

125 billion. In cash. And counting. And they work. As advertised. Much like the Cube…oh wait…

A great deal of my effort is spent making sure that we have a great user experience across our core products. Whether you’re in Chrome or Search or Gmail, it’s just Google, with one consistent look and feel. It’s not a good user experience if there are 50 different ways to share something. That requires integration.

See what I mean? RDF. He’s talking like he is the CEO of Apple.

On Steve Jobs’ “thermonuclear” comment:

How well is that working?

12.5 billion for Motorola. Not a single substantial case won against Apple, but many lost. ITC/EU investigations. FTC pledge to withdraw all FRAND/SEP litigation. Countless failures in court for Google and it’s partners. I’d say it’s working pretty well Larry….

Android has been very successful, and we’re very excited about it.

Really? Still making more money off iOS than Android…

Read the rest at the link above…if you must.

Scott Forstall and John Browett are out.

Apple’s statement:

Apple® today announced executive management changes that will encourage even more collaboration between the Company’s world-class hardware, software and services teams. As part of these changes, Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi will add more responsibilities to their roles. Apple also announced that Scott Forstall will be leaving Apple next year and will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook in the interim.

“We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history”

“We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “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.”

Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design. His incredible design aesthetic has been the driving force behind the look and feel of Apple’s products for more than a decade.

Eddy Cue will take on the additional responsibility of Siri® and Maps, placing all of our online services in one group. This organization has overseen major successes such as the iTunes Store®, the App Store℠, the iBookstore℠ and iCloud®. This group has an excellent track record of building and strengthening Apple’s online services to meet and exceed the high expectations of our customers.

Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X®. Apple has the most advanced mobile and desktop operating systems, and this move brings together the OS teams to make it even easier to deliver the best technology and user experience innovations to both platforms.

Bob Mansfield will lead a new group, Technologies, which combines all of Apple’s wireless teams across the company in one organization, fostering innovation in this area at an even higher level. This organization will also include the semiconductor teams, who have ambitious plans for the future.

Additionally, John Browett is leaving Apple. A search for a new head of Retail is underway and in the interim, the Retail team will report directly to Tim Cook. 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 designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

I’m sure that removing Browett will be seen as a move forward, correcting a mistake made almost a year ago by hiring the former CEO of Dixon’s. Many have said that he was not the right guy for Apple, and I believed them then, and it looks like Apple believes it now.

Scott Forstall is an entirely different matter. He’s been with Apple for a long time, and before that at Next with Steve Jobs. Him leaving is a much bigger blow to Apple.
It has been said today that it was mainly “his” screw-up with Maps, and his subsequent refusal to sign an apology letter that got him on the wrong side of Tim Cook, but I don’t think that’s the whole story.
I don’t like to speculate, but it has been a pretty open secret that Scott was, in some ways, very much like Steve Jobs – hard to work with, but brilliant.
Many have called him the “heir” to Steves’ empire. I know that Tim Cook, much like all C-level executives at Apple have a very positive image, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that they got there because they are nice guys.
I think this is a move by Tim Cook to cement his reign, and that’s not a bad idea.

Marissa Mayer is Yahoo’s new CEO.

The Verge has the story.

Here’s the key quote:

she “had an amazing time at Google,” but that “it was a reasonably easy decision” to join Yahoo

I wonder what that says about where Google is going? Mrs. Mayer used to be in charge of Search, but got “promoted” to Maps, and Localization Services during Google’s last restructuring.

Mayer is considered to be one of the best executives in Silicon Valley. There may yet b hope for Yahoo, which I’d like to see personally – I’m still using my very first Email-Address I got from Yahoo about 20 years ago.