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At Apple, two high-profile executive departures

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Beck Diefenbach/Reuters/File

(Read caption) Apple announced Monday that Scott Forstall, the senior VP in charge of iOS software, will be leaving the company next year. Retail head John Browett is also departing. Here, Forstall discusses the iPhone at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California on June 6, 2011.

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Monday was a tough day to be an Apple executive. The company announced that Scott Forstall, the head of the iPhone and iPad software and a 15-year veteran of the company, will leave next year. And John Browett, the company's senior VP of retail, is also leaving -- though the two departures reportedly aren't related.

Apple hasn't officially commented on why Forstall is leaving, noting only that many of his responsibilities will be distributed to several other execs including Jony Ive, the company's chief industrial designer. But The Wall Street Journal reports that Forstall's departure is probably connected to the recent bumpy launch of Apple Maps.

After Apple replaced Google Maps with its own service in iOS 6 software, many users complained that the new maps weren't very accurate and that parts of the interface didn't work well. The concerns surrounding the launch led Apple to do something it almost never does: apologize. Chief Executive Tim Cook even went so far as to suggest that customers use alternative mapping services until Apple Maps improved.

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