Official notice sent out by Apple on Monday identified the departing officials as mobile software division chief Scott Forstall and retail operations division boss John Browett. Mr Forstall is slated to exit next year while Mr Browett will immediately vacate his post, Apple said in a statement.
The executive upheaval was seen by analysts as the first major test on the leadership mettle of Apple CEO Tim Cook, at least in adroitly handling many of Steve Jobs' holdouts when the latter stepped aside in August 2011, a few weeks before his demise.
More than a year after Mr Jobs's death, Apple remains in the pedestal it was left to by its co-founder and Mr Cook has presided over the successful issuance of products that sustained the vaunted Apple tradition of largely pleasing the market, the consumers and even its critics.
But there were some missteps and one of them was attributed to Mr Browett, who was personally recruited by Mr Cook and was asked to resign after only a few months of stint in Apple.
His fault, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), was failure to fit smoothly into Apple's work culture and after some executive boo-boos, he was eased out and Mr Cook taking over his post in interim capacity.
But the stronger tremor was created by Mr Forstall, who WSJ said was also asked to quit.
Media reports desribed him as a protégé of Mr Jobs, putting him in the small circle of the tech icon and an attribution that he tends to relish and flaunt.
Citing an unidentified source, WSJ said that Mr Forstall had lamented shortly after Mr Jobs' death that Apple lost its 'decider'. He was also labelled by Apple colleagues as difficult to work with, the WSJ informant added.
Apparently, the new CEO never took the remarks against the close associate of Mr Jobs but the axe was allowed to fall when Mr Forstall vehemently protested Apple's decision to issue an apology on the iOS map fiasco, which was his direct responsibility.
Mr Forstall was convinced quietly correcting the glitches that came with the in-house Apple map application would be enough, just like what happened when the iPhone 4 has encountered issues with its internal antenna.
Mr Cook and other executives dismissed his assertions and the formally apology was made public with the top man of Apple affixing his name instead.
That spelled the end for Mr Forstall, which in turn fortified Mr Cook's hold on the tech giant and allowed others to take bigger roles and shine.
"Though Scott Forstall's departure is a surprise, this appears to be part of Tim Cook putting his own stamp on the company, and importantly, he is still surrounded by several key long-time Apple executives and innovators," Robert W. Baird analyst William Power told Reuters.
Tipped to really flourish under Mr Cook's watch is Jonathan Ive, widely regarded as the real brain that gave birth to the ground-breaking designs of the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.
Analysts said Apple is secured with the solid likelihood that Mr Cook and Mr Ive will collaborate for much longer time to help direct the creation of more innovative products.
"Combined with Tim Cook's nine years remaining on his contract with Apple ... Mr Ive will be with the company for the foreseeable future, putting to rest a recurring investor concern of an Apple without (him)," Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster was reported by Reuters as saying in a research note.
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