Apple’s Map Fail & More Corporate Apologies (Photos)

Apple CEO Tim Cook says he’s very sorry that the company “fell short” on its new maps system. See more execs who admitted to slipping up.

Apple CEO Tim Cook says he’s very sorry that the company “fell short” on its new maps system. From Rupert Murdoch to Lloyd Blankfein, see more execs who admitted to slipping up.

Justin Sullivan

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Even Apple thinks its new maps app sucks. Apple CEO Tim Cook released a statement to customers Friday admitting that the company “fell short” on its commitment to making superior products with its new map system. “We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better,” the letter reads. Cook explains that the company initially launched the application with the first version of iOS and had to “create a new version of Maps from the ground up” in order to add improvements to the product. Cook suggested users try alternative maps apps while the company works on getting Apple Maps up to speed.

Sang Tan / AP Photo

News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch

Twelve days after a phone-hacking scandal began to rock his media empire in 2011, News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch apologized in full-page ads taken out in seven British newspapers. “We are sorry,” the executive says in the ads. “The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account. It failed when it came to itself. We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred. We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected.” Murdoch also visited the family of Milly Dowler, a young murdered girl whose phone his employees had hacked.

Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein

After raking in record profits during the first nine months of 2009—and setting aside $16.7 billion for compensation expenses—Goldman chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein felt compelled to apologize for the firm’s role in the financial crisis, saying he was “very concerned” about the criticism. “We participated in things that were clearly wrong and have reason to regret,” Blankfein said a news conference in New York in November 2009, before adding, “we apologize.”

Suzanne Plunkett / AP Photo

Former Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin

The notorious AOL Time Warner deal was disastrous enough that when it was over, the former CEO of Time Warner found himself apologizing for the whole fiasco. The two companies merged in 2000 when AOL purchased Time Warner for $164 billion in a deal that seemed to crystalize a new era for media. But by the time of the companies’ official split in 2010, their combined net worth was about one seventh what it had been at the time of the merger. When the divorce was finalized, former Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin apologized for the deal and the “pain and suffering and loss” it caused.

Jin Lee, Bloomberg / Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase

It's never too late to say you're sorry. In 2005, the nation’s second-largest bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co. apologized for two of its predecessor entities bankrolling Louisiana plantations using slaves as collateral. “The slavery era was a tragic time in the U.S. history and in our company’s history,” the bank said in a statement, and announced a $5 million scholarship for African-American students.

Kyodo / AP Photo

TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata

After a powerful earthquake and tsunami struck Japan this year, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant overheated, creating one of history's worst nuclear crises. The owners of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) apologized repeatedly in the aftermath. During the company’s shareholder meeting in June, TEPCO chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata said he and all the directors would “work together to resolve this crisis as soon as possible," even as shareholders heckled him for being inadequately prepared for the accident.

Sean Gardner / AP Photo

BP CEO Tony Hayward

The worst oil spill in U.S. history drew some of the worst corporate responses, too. At first, BP CEO Tony Hayward seemed defiant. Although he admitted less than a month after the spill began that the company should have had a better emergency plan in place, the executive later angered people by saying that “there’s no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back.” Hayward finally took some responsibility for BP’s actions, apologizing on June 2, 2010, and saying “the Gulf spill is a tragedy that never should have happened … I’m sorry.”

Jenni Girtman / AP Photo


After AirTran was found to have improperly removed nine Muslim passengers from a Washington-area flight on New Year’s Day 2009, the airline was forced to apologize. In a statement, AirTran said “it is incumbent on any airline to ensure members of the traveling public are not singled out or mistreated based on their perceived race, religion or national origin.” The company offered the booted passengers refunds and free return airfare. But the apology wasn't limited to the passengers who were removed: The company also apologized to the 195 other passengers whose flight was delayed for two hours because of the incident.

Bloomberg / Getty Images

James Burke, CEO of Johnson & Johnson

Though he never actually said the word "sorry," Johnson & Johnson CEO James Burke's management of the Tylenol poisoning tragedy in 1982, which killed seven people, remains the gold standard in corporate crisis management. When it was discovered that the seven deaths were the result of Tylenol that had been tampered with, Johnson & Johnson issued urgent statements warning people not to consume Tylenol products, and production and advertising were immediately halted. At an estimated cost of $100 million, all Tylenol already on shelves was recalled, and Burke went on 60 Minutes to further beg all consumers to return their Tylenol. “Our first responsibility is to our customers,” he said. “Don’t risk it. Take the voucher so that when this crisis is over we can give you a product we both feel is safe.” At the time, the response was believed to be extreme and many thought the company would suffer from it, but in the years since, Burke's handling of the incident has been credited with saving the Tylenol brand.