Richest BusinessExecutives
Net Worth:
$100 Million
1968 (56 years old)
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What is Scott Forstall's Net Worth and Salary?

Scott Forstall is an American software engineer who has a net worth of $100 million. Scott Forstall is best known for leading the original software development team for Apple's iPhone and iPad. Additionally, from 2007 to 2012, he served as the senior vice president of iOS Software at Apple. At one point he was considered Apple's de-facto "CEO in waiting," but ended up leaving the firm and selling 95% of his shares in the company. As we explain later in the article, Scott absolutely should have held onto those shares.

In his other endeavors, Forstall co-produced the Broadway productions "Fun Home," "Eclipsed," and "Hadestown."

Early Life and Education

Scott Forstall was born in 1969 in Kitsap County, Washington as the second of three boys of Tom, an engineer, and Jeanne, a nurse. His older brother Bruce went on to become a senior software design engineer at Microsoft. In school, Forstall was a gifted student, and particularly excelled in programming. He took AP science and math classes in middle school, and acquired early experience with programming on Apple IIe computers. Entering high school a year early, Forstall went to Olympic High School in Bremerton. There, he played competitive chess and competed in trivia tournaments. Forstall graduated as class co-valedictorian with a 4.0 GPA. He went on to attend Stanford University, from which he graduated with a bachelor's degree in symbolic systems in 1991. Subsequently, Forstall obtained his master's degree in computer science from Stanford.

NeXT and Apple

After graduating from Stanford, Forstall joined the computer technology company NeXT, which was founded by Steve Jobs. He remained with the company when it was acquired by Jobs' Apple in 1997. Following that purchase, Forstall began designing user interfaces for the revamped Macintosh line of computers. In 2000, he became a leading designer of the new Aqua user interface, which was popular for its water-like visual cues. Gaining a whole new level of recognition for his work on Aqua, Forstall was promoted to senior vice president of Apple iOS Software in early 2003. In that position, he oversaw the creation of the Safari web browser, an Apple software staple.


When Jobs began devising the iPhone, he was caught between two choices for how it should be conceived: as a more compact Macintosh computer or as an enlarged iPod. To settle the decision, he pit the Macintosh and iPod teams against each other; ultimately, it was Forstall and the Mac team that ended up winning. In his development of the iPhone, Forstall utilized a preexisting desktop operating system that would permit third-party Mac developers to write software for the device. Additionally, he created a software developer's kit so programmers could build their own iPhone apps. One of the world's two largest smartphone platforms, the iPhone has been credited with revolutionizing the mobile phone industry and the app economy. In 2006, Forstall was made responsible for all Mac OS X releases; he subsequently became senior vice president of iPhone Software.

Scott Forstall

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apple Departure

Following the release of iOS 6 in 2012, Apple entered into a tumultuous period marked by criticism and controversy. In particular, the newly introduced Maps app was decried for being buggy and underdeveloped, while the clock app came under fire for using an unlicensed design based on the trademarked Swiss railway clock. Not long after this, it was announced that Forstall would be leaving Apple. Although the specific reason for his departure was never publicly disclosed, it was believed that he was forced out of his position due to an inability to work harmoniously with colleagues. Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Forstall had a "disagreeable" personality, and it was later revealed that Forstall had refused to sign a formal apology for his error-riddled work on the Maps app. Moreover, Forstall's overall design style caused significant division within the design team at Apple.

Apple Stock Sale and Severance

In May 2012 Scott Forstall sold 95% of his Apple shares. According to an SEC filing, at the time Forstall sold over 64,000 company shares at around $585 per share to net $38.7 million. He was left with 2,988 shares that at the time were worth $1.7 million. By leaving (or getting fired), Scott left 350,000 Restricted Stock Units on the table (though he would have had to remained at the company for several more years to earn those units.)

Apple stock split 7-1 in June 2014 and 4-1 in August 2020. Had he held on to the 64,000 shares he sold in May 2012, today he would have around 1.8 million shares. At various times in recent years, those 1.8 million shares would easily be worth $300 million.

Had he managed to stay at Apple and receive the 350,000 RSUs, after the splits those would have turned into around 10 million shares. At various stock prices in recent years, those 10 million shares would be worth well over $1 billion.

On the other hand, it has been reported that when he was fired (or left), Scott accepted an exceptionally large severance package from Tim Cook in exchange for leaving quietly. It's possible Scott was granted the ability to continue receiving a portion of his RSUs or he may have just been simply paid a lump sum. Forstall has indeed been very quiet in his years since leaving Apple.

Post-Apple Career

Forstall mostly stayed out of the public eye after he left Apple. He reportedly spent his time traveling and advising charitable organizations. In the spring of 2015, Forstall reemerged to announce that he was co-producing the Broadway musical "Fun Home," based on the Alison Bechdel graphic novel. A huge hit, the production went on to win five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Forstall later co-produced the award-winning Broadway productions "Eclipsed" and "Hadestown."

Personal Life

Forstall is married to Molly Brown, with whom he attended Olympic High School back in the day. Incidentally, both graduated together as valedictorians.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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