updated 11:20 am EDT, Thu November 1, 2012
Mansfield allegedly tried to avoid Forstall
Bob Mansfield's return to Apple was partly enabled by the departure of Scott Forstall, a source described as close to the company tells AllThingsD. "The timing of Bob's return is not coincidental," the person explains, elaborating that Mansfield didn't like Forstall's confrontational management. Several sources say that Mansfield generally tried to avoid Forstall; this may be backed up by a 2011 Bloomberg report, which said that Mansfield would only meet with Forstall if CEO Tim Cook was around to mediate.
"It wasn't a him-or-me situation," one source comments about Mansfield's return. "But, put it this way, I think Bob was much more willing to commit to two more years once he knew Scott was on his way out." If the claim is right, Forstall's exit may have been brewing for some time, and potentially precipitated by more than just an unwillingness to apologize for iOS 6 Maps.
In his new position Mansfield will be in charge of a Technologies division, and stay for at least two years. His retirement was announced in June, but then reversed in August without any official explanation. Later reports indicated that Mansfield was offered strong financial incentives to come back.