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Papermaster leaves Apple due to ‘Cultural Incompatibility’

KitGuru reported over the weekend that Apple executive Mark Papermaster, who was in charge of iPhone engineering left the company. The Wall Street Journal have said that his departure was due to “broader cultural incompatibility” rather than a direct link to the iPhone 4’s antenna issues as reason for his exit.

Exactly how much the problems with the iPhone 4 played in Mr. Papermaster’s exit is unclear. The iPhone 4, a key device for Apple, has been beset by issues such as antenna reception and delayed production of a white version of the gadget. Several people familiar with Mr. Papermaster’s situation said his departure was driven by a broader cultural incompatibility.

Mr. Papermaster had lost the confidence of Mr. Jobs months ago and hasn’t been part of the decision-making process for some time, these people said. They added that Mr. Papermaster didn’t appear to have the type of creative thinking expected at Apple and wasn’t used to Apple’s corporate culture, where even senior executives are expected to keep on top of the smallest details of their areas of responsibility and often have to handle many tasks directly, as opposed to delegating them.

One of these people also said Mr. Papermaster had difficulty maneuvering Apple’s internal politics.

KitGuru says: The report also notes that Steve Jobs himself pushed forward with the iPhone 4 antenna design despite questions about its performance, which would suggest that Papermaster doesn’t have very much responsibility at the end of the day.

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