Apple announced a major executive shake-up that sees Senior VP iOS Software Scott Forstall exiting Apple by year-end and serving in an advisory role to CEO Tim Cook till his departure. On the exit mode is also John Browett, retail head with the organization, while Sir Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi are entrusted with additional responsibilities.

Sir Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for human interface across the organization and it appears like Sir Ive bags an opportunity to bring his hardware design sensibility to Apple. Eddy Cue, who is currently in-charge of Apple's digital storefront, is entrusted with additional responsibility of Maps and Siri. Though it appears to be a challenge for Cue to take on, there do not seem to be many options for him, The Verge has reported.

Craig Federighi, vice president, Mac Software is in-charge of both iOS and OS X. Apple is hoping that the move provides room to unify software strategy across two platforms. This move aims to imply that he will be in-charge of most of Forstall's duties.

Vice President Bob Mansfield who announced retirement earlier in 2012 but subsequently withdrew his resignation is tipped to head a group called Technologies that focuses on semiconductor and wireless hardware business.

John Browett, senior vice president - retail, is planning an exit within a year on the job.

Though there's no word why he left, Apple states that search for replacement is underway.

Meanwhile, the company's retail team is reporting directly to Cook. The exit of Browett and Forstall is seen as a significant shake-up as Forstall was viewed as a key contributor to the rise and success of the iOS platform, The Verge has added.

Forstall is the designated Directly Responsible Individual or "DRI" for Maps and Siri. His exit marks the debacle of both the key iOS features. The role of DRI gained value during the period of Steve Jobs as Apple's CEO and now it appears to thrive in Tim Cook's direction.