When Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs announced he would take a medical leave for the third time in less than a decade, the focus suddenly turned to the unsung executives that report to Jobs and have so far been largely hidden behind his shadow. Scott Forstall is one of the talents that many expect will push Apple forward in the year ahead. Forstall leads the Apple team responsible for delivering the software at the heart of Apple's iPhone, covering the gadget's user interface, applications and frameworks.
Forstall is a member of Apple's inner circle, having worked with Jobs at his previous startup NeXT before joining Apple in 1997. Apple gives Forstall credit for developing the Mac OS X operating system and the Aqua user interface.
As Apple's senior vice president of iOS software, Forstall often speaks alongside Jobs at public events. He also appears frequently in Apple's product videos demonstrating various iOS capabilities.
Forstall and the rest of Apple's executive team are being challenged by competitors such as Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system, which continues to make huge strides with device makers and consumers.
We expect Forstall to become a higher-profile figure at Apple in the months ahead. And we look forward to Forstall continuing Apple's legacy of innovative software development while Jobs is away from the company.