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MacRumors
Dec 20, 2003, 03:19 AM
Forbes posts (http://www.forbes.com/2003/12/17/cx_ld_1218ceosoap.html?partner=yahoo&referrer=) a brief history of Apple's CEO Soap Opera as well as a poll which asks "Which CEO did the most damage to Apple during his tenure?".

From John Sculley through Steve Jobs, Forbes provides a small blurb of the tenure of each of the recent CEOs of Apple. With Apple's recent improvements, Forbes obviously provides a positive review of Steve Jobs' current reign.

arn
Dec 20, 2003, 03:25 AM
not very comprehensive... but an interesting recap.

I think the spin is a bit anti-other-CEOs... obviously, Apple had to grow before the decline... ;)

And I thought Apple peaked marketshare-wise in the early 90s.

You wouldn't be able to tell from the descriptions. ;)

arn

simX
Dec 20, 2003, 03:40 AM
They didn't link to As the Apple Turns (http://www.appleturns.com/). That's foolish, considering that AtAT actually is a soap opera. :)

ITR 81
Dec 20, 2003, 03:47 AM
Originally posted by arn
not very comprehensive... but an interesting recap.

I think the spin is a big anti-other-CEOs... obviously, Apple had to grow before the decline... ;)

And I thought Apple peaked marketshare-wise in the early 90s.

You wouldn't be able to tell from the descriptions. ;)

arn

Best article on this I think was done in the recent issue of MacAddict. It's the Jan 04' edition.

alset
Dec 20, 2003, 04:25 AM
Scully! Scully! Scully! Scully! Scully! Scully! Scully! Scully! Scully! Scully!

Gil! Gil! Gil! Gil! Gil! Gil! Gil! Gil! Gil! Gil! Gil! Gil! Gil! Gil! Gil! Gil! Gil! Gil! Gil! Gil!

Both were terrible. Gil Amelio, admittedly, inherited a problem. Then again, so did Steve. Granted, Steve had the Mac-faithful up in arms to support, which Gil did not.... then again, what did Gil bring to the table to get excited about?

Dan

edit: w00t for AtAT!

AtAT! AtAT! AtAT! AtAT! AtAT! AtAT!

ITR 81
Dec 20, 2003, 04:26 AM
Sculley did the most damage.
He allowed Gates to license the look and feel for their Windows 1.0, but a clause in the contract gave them the go-ahead for all future products as well.

So basically MS can just copy Mac forever.

Gilbert Amelio
Was just a dumb arse and probably would've killed Apple if he stayed in any longer then he did.

Micheal Spindler big issue was putting out the Newton before it was ready for the market and for allowing clones which ended up sucking Apple almost dry.

reedm007
Dec 20, 2003, 04:40 AM
Originally posted by ITR 81
Sculley did the most damage.
He allowed Gates to license the look and feel for their Windows 1.0, but a clause in the contract gave them the go-ahead for all future products as well.

So basically MS can just copy Mac forever.

You may need to provide some sources on that statement, since I know a lot Apple employees that might strongly disagree with what you said...

Show us the clause in the contract that "gave [Microsoft] the go-ahead for all future products"...

Squire
Dec 20, 2003, 05:23 AM
There are a half dozen articles on Apple and the Mac as part of the "Mac @ 20" feature in Forbes.

Squire

<Edit: Sorry...5 stories.>

ITR 81
Dec 20, 2003, 05:33 AM
Originally posted by reedm007
You may need to provide some sources on that statement, since I know a lot Apple employees that might strongly disagree with what you said...

Show us the clause in the contract that "gave [Microsoft] the go-ahead for all future products"...

MacAddict Jan. 04'
If you have sub. you already have yours. I'm not sure if it's in the book stores yet.

Actual text quote:
"In the end, however, things didn't turn out so pretty for Sculley. In 1985, he presided over large layoffs (over 1,000 employees) and oversaw the company's first quarterly loss. He also signed an ill-conceived deal with Bill Gates in which he licensed the Mac's look and feel for Windows 1.0. Unfortunately, a clause in the contract also gave Microsoft the go-ahead to use pretty much any look-and-feel elements in all of its future programs, later scuttling an Apple copyright infringement lawsuit against Microsoft. Damn."


(3rd paragraph from the top, pg. 22)


If it had not been for Sculley MS would not look the same way it does now and who knows MS might have just died back in the late 80's if that contract had never been signed.

BWhaler
Dec 20, 2003, 05:45 AM
Sculley. No question about it. Schindler and Amelio sucked, but at point, the die had been cast.

Either way, the three of them have done nothing since.

Fault Jobs as you may, but he helped start Apple, did NeXT and Pixar outside of Apple, and has saved the company since 1996.

sosumi99
Dec 20, 2003, 05:48 AM
I think I'm going to stick up for Gil a bit here. He certainly inherited a big mess and didn't do enough to turn things around, but the decision to buy NeXT ended up giving us Steve II and OS X. One could argue that that decision alone should redeem his reputation forever among Apple faithfuls.

iChan
Dec 20, 2003, 06:28 AM
yeah, i wouldn't put any blame on Amelio, for him, he was doing a job, he bought neXT and brought our Steve back from the ashes, these are inspired decision by a person who is merely a business man... but at Apple, someone with with passion and love for the company was needed... we got him, but Amelio was the linchpin in getting apple to where it currently is now.

365
Dec 20, 2003, 07:07 AM
IMHO, John Sculley was by far the best CEO Apple as ever had, he did what no one before or since him has ever been brave enough to do which is to tackle the question of growing market share head on, he allowed cloning etc.. which in hindsight was the wrong decision but we had to find this out and at least he had the balls to do it along with the balls to get rid of Jobs who was a loose cannon taking Apple swiftly down the pan.

The time that he was the boss also saw Apple's most innovative period without question. We got the Newton a product years ahead of it's time, we at last got a cheap affordable color Macintosh in the shape of the LC before that you had the $5000 Macintosh IIfx and we also got a massive jump in performance with the Quadra, in this time we got AppleScript he gave us System 7 which in reality was with us until this year in the guise of OS9 it goes on...

Yeah, Steve Jobs has charisma by the bucket full but in reality he is nothing more than an egotistical parasite sucking Apple dry, look at his drawings from Apple this year, $1 salary my arse!! he's had over $200,000,000.00 out of Apple in the last 12 months. He didn't give Apple OSX he sold it to Apple for over half a Billion dollars and it's taken another four years to get it to the stage where it's a usable system and all at Apple's expense. We've sat and watched Apple's lead in processing power dwindle away while he's been in charge and only now have we got the G5, a chip that let's us draw level with Intel based systems again I could go on..

The thing is that Apple isn't about CEO's the unsung heros at Apple are the men and women behind the scenes who dream up and create the products and us the loyal users.

sosumi99
Dec 20, 2003, 07:28 AM
Originally posted by 365
The time that he was the boss also saw Apple's most innovative period without question. We got the Newton a product years ahead of it's time, we at last got a cheap affordable color Macintosh in the shape of the LC before that you had the $5000 Macintosh IIfx and we also got a massive jump in performance with the Quadra, in this time we got AppleScript he gave us System 7 which in reality was with us until this year in the guise of OS9 it goes on...

Yeah, Steve Jobs has charisma by the bucket full but in reality he is nothing more than an egotistical parasite sucking Apple dry

I don't disagree with you as far as the innovations that occurred under Sculley. I'm very thankful for AppleScript. But near the end of his reign was when Apple first really began to feel stagnant and directionless. I left the Mac platform right about the time when System 7 came out. I simply couldn't live without protected memory.

Until OS X, I didn't want to buy any Apple products. The slick hardware simply seemed to disguise a rotting system underneath. Steve J. cleared up the product map, made Apple profitable for the first time in years, and he managed to get OS X out and shipping when everyone was doubting how he could pull it off. That brought people like me back to the platform -- paying good money to Apple again. For me, OS X is what makes Steve a great CEO.

I do agree with you that it's the engineers at Apple who are really ultimately responsible for all the coolness.

iChan
Dec 20, 2003, 07:42 AM
Originally posted by sosumi99
I do agree with you that it's the engineers at Apple who are really ultimately responsible for all the coolness.

I also agree with those who say that a lot of the 'coolness' comes from what the engineers do, but that is the same from anything in life, you have the visionaries, but you have the workhorses in the background doing all the work... but I believe the whole corporate culture, ergo, the coolness factor itself, resonates from Steve Jobs himself, through vigorous micromanagement, impeccable high standards, and from being such a cool guy himself...

Phillip
Dec 20, 2003, 08:03 AM
what a great aritcle... a great read. imo, scully isn't bad at all. everyone makes mistakes. even steve.

ChrisH3677
Dec 20, 2003, 08:07 AM
simple question: Where would Apple be today if Steve said no to Gil?

ThomasJefferson
Dec 20, 2003, 08:11 AM
Sculley made some poor decisions on the business end and nearly drove Apple into the grave. However it was during the Amelio years that quality collapsed in the products we were recieving at my school. It was common in 96/97 to have computers shipped - dead out of the box. Even the first year Jobs was back, the hardware and support was a disaster. We have not a single Mac in my school today (other than the ibook I use in class for keynote) and not a Mac in the whole county, that I am aware of. Nada.

It is sad to say, but even with windows 98 - the wintel boxes that were shipped in the late 90's were an improvement, over the Apple hardware and support problems we had then.

Now, all that said - I have always owned a functional/semi functional Apple. But I added a wintel at home due to the frustration I had at work.

So happy those years are passed. The last few years have been a long, strange trip with Steve. A nice ride.

But, I cringe when I read Apple is deleting comments about ibook motherboards and have sweat inducing flashbacks when I read about whitespots on powerbooks.

Pavlovian I guess. I am SURE it has nothing to do with those Greatful Dead concerts in the 70's.

McToast
Dec 20, 2003, 09:00 AM
The author of one of the sections of the Mac@20 coverage, "Apples Key Moments", Ed Lin says, "Does the Mac have another 20 years in it? Probably not." Where the hell does he get off saying this? #@% him.

Karim
Dec 20, 2003, 09:40 AM
Idiots have been predicting the demise of Apple since its debut in 1977. As long as they make great products, people will buy them, and Apple will stay in business.

365
Dec 20, 2003, 09:53 AM
Originally posted by ThomasJefferson
Sculley made some poor decisions on the business end and nearly drove Apple into the grave. However it was during the Amelio years that quality collapsed in the products we were recieving at my school. It was common in 96/97 to have computers shipped - dead out of the box. Even the first year Jobs was back, the hardware and support was a disaster. We have not a single Mac in my school today (other than the ibook I use in class for keynote) and not a Mac in the whole county, that I am aware of. Nada.

If you read Pepsi to Apple you realise that John Sculley grew to be very passionate about Apple as much so as Steve Jobs even. The thing about Sculley that he is never credited with is the number of very unpopular decisions that he made that with hindsight were critical to Apple's future.

He presided over the largest restructuring in Apples history he made many unpopular decisions that cost the company a small fortune and led to the poor results. These decisions were desperately needed but ultimately led to his ousting. His legacy was a drastically leaner Apple which had significantly reduced operating expenses and I believe that other CEO's have benefitted from these decisions.

For me easily the worst CEO was Spindler he was good at nothing, neither charismatic nor a great business mind, the three years he was in charge were critical years and needed a strong business mind who could've taken advantage of the reduced operating expenses, instead he took Apple as close as they have ever come to becoming part of computing history. Thank goodness that he eventually went and we got Gil who was an excellent corporate mind unfortunately he had no passion for the company.

Truth told the best CEO for the job would be somewhere between Sculley and Jobs, if only they could've got on, they could have been a great team, the thing is that Sculley understood that a business needs more than just great products, it needs to make a profit.

I sounded a little bitter towards Jobs above but to be fair Steve is good for Apple, he's just too expensive a luxury, if he really is passionate about Apple he should cut his drawings.

ennerseed
Dec 20, 2003, 10:00 AM
Originally posted by sosumi99
I think I'm going to stick up for Gil a bit here. He certainly inherited a big mess and didn't do enough to turn things around, but the decision to buy NeXT ended up giving us Steve II and OS X. One could argue that that decision alone should redeem his reputation forever among Apple faithfuls.

Cheers, agreed. He did make that very good, very important decision!

macMaestro
Dec 20, 2003, 10:25 AM
Originally posted by ChrisH3677
simple question: Where would Apple be today if Steve said no to Gil?

Simple answer: Bankrupt

iChan
Dec 20, 2003, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by Karim
Idiots have been predicting the demise of Apple since its debut in 1977. As long as they make great products, people will buy them, and Apple will stay in business.

for many years, mainly the amelio years, critics did have reason to predict the demise of Apple... its only now, people who are STILL predicting the demise of Apple, they are the idiots.

Mighty64Lincoln
Dec 20, 2003, 11:08 AM
What bothered me about the series of articles was that they came out and said the Mac was and is doomed and that is won't be around in 20 years.

I don't know where they are basing their research. Any ideas? :confused:

iChan
Dec 20, 2003, 11:10 AM
i don't know. anyway... who did everyone vote for and why? it would be interesting to know everyone's take on the "soap opera" that Apple has been.

scat999999
Dec 20, 2003, 11:21 AM
Given what's he's accomplished since his return in 1997, imagine what Apple may have accomplished if Jobs hadn't been missing in action for 12 years.


Originally posted by ITR 81
Sculley did the most damage.
He allowed Gates to license the look and feel for their Windows 1.0, but a clause in the contract gave them the go-ahead for all future products as well.

So basically MS can just copy Mac forever.

Gilbert Amelio
Was just a dumb arse and probably would've killed Apple if he stayed in any longer then he did.

Micheal Spindler big issue was putting out the Newton before it was ready for the market and for allowing clones which ended up sucking Apple almost dry.

i_wolf
Dec 20, 2003, 11:30 AM
I would argue that we have seen more innovation over the past year under jobs than any other time.
iTunes music store, is extremely successful and apple is really pioneering the 'digital hub' ideal in a profitable way. They are going to gain a lot of market share in my opinion on a lot of fronts. Primarily i would imagine from the fact that they are now advertising the mac as more than a computer but the cener of a digital life style. It would appear to be paying off.
The OS is pulling in hard core UNIX guys like myself and developers.... Giving away full development suite with OS X is clever in itself. The more apps written the more macs sold. You need to buy Visual Studio . Net if you want to create modern windows apps, on the other hand you get XCode for free. Furthermore with Panther introducing Apples X11 and having an OS based on Unix opens the doors to thousands of quality apps written for the Unix and Linux platform.
As for hardware, i disagree with only pulling even with intel. In any tests we have undertaken at work against comparable AMD and Intel systems the G5 has proved to be far in excess in terms of performance. if anything i would say apple are being very humble about their performance claims. Try running apps recompiled with a G5 friendly compiler such as XLF and XLC and you will see double the performance if not more than you get from current 'optimized' GCC 3.3. Completely untapped performance presently in my opinion.
I know in my country apple are now doing mass marketing at the street level. this is another good thing... people can now actually see these machines in person and play around with them.
As far as the form factor is concerned of Apple laptops; the powerbook is extremely innovative... 1 inch thin, extremely light, huge connectivity, great screens.... here's hoping next year they innovate a bit more with some more umph and power in them though ;)
Currently in x86 land everything is not as rosy as we would be led to believe. In terms of x86 hardware, the present technological leader is clearly AMD, however with such a small market share it will be interesting if they can push widespread accecptance of x86-64.... not least because Intel does not want to go down this route. Then there is Microsoft, will MS provide longterm support for two different versions of 64 bit windows... Itanium, and Athlon 64... will hardware manufacturers of modems, video cards graphics cards etc... jump on the 64 bit bandwagon???
As far as windows is concerned, there is another 2 years to go before longhorn, and even then longhorn will take time to mature.
I think this year and going forward Apple are in a unique position to grab more and more market share from Wintel.

warcraftmaster
Dec 20, 2003, 12:06 PM
Originally posted by i_wolf
I]]
Currently in x86 land everything is not as rosy as we would be led to believe. In terms of x86 hardware, the present technological leader is clearly AMD, however with such a small market share it will be interesting if they can push widespread accecptance of x86-64.... not least because Intel does not want to go down this route. Then there is Microsoft, will MS provide longterm support for two different versions of 64 bit windows... Itanium, and Athlon 64... will hardware manufacturers of modems, video cards graphics cards etc... jump on the 64 bit bandwagon???
.

warcraftmaster
Dec 20, 2003, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by i_wolf
I]]
Currently in x86 land everything is not as rosy as we would be led to believe. In terms of x86 hardware, the present technological leader is clearly AMD, however with such a small market share it will be interesting if they can push widespread accecptance of x86-64.... not least because Intel does not want to go down this route. Then there is Microsoft, will MS provide longterm support for two different versions of 64 bit windows... Itanium, and Athlon 64... will hardware manufacturers of modems, video cards graphics cards etc... jump on the 64 bit bandwagon???
.



most of amd power is from ibm they do have the same fabas ibm

eazyway
Dec 20, 2003, 12:24 PM
Originally posted by scat999999
Given what's he's accomplished since his return in 1997, imagine what Apple may have accomplished if Jobs hadn't been missing in action for 12 years.



Good point , but the layoff and the work with Next and with pixar may have laid a nice and new foundation for Apple that may not have come if Jobs had stayed at Apple. Even with Jobs Apple also got hit big time with the collapse of the market and the economy. Here below is a comarison of a few companies coming off the March 200 highs until today.


NT down 94%
MOT & AAPL down 74%
CSCO down 73%
MSFT down 49%
DELL down 40%
IBM down 21%

Apple made a great choice to hook on to the IBM PPC road map. It is very strong and still a lot the power is not fully utilized.

The G5 sales this Q will likely be Apple's best ever quarter for high end sales. These are spurred on by their installed base and a new and growing higher education base. ie York University upgraded multimedia to G5 and look at the High end schools doing the same.

The current people who support jobs such as Tevanian , Schilling and Bereskin etc deserve a huge amount of the credit.

For those of you who are looking to purchase some stocks I might suggest AAPL at this time.

Price $20
Cash on hand $13 per share
NAV is $11.50 per share
EMJ .. A canadian wholesaler in Toronto went through over 1000 iPods in a the last Q . They are a small source to Apples overall demand.

compare that to MSFT
Price $27
Cash $4.5 per share
NAV $5.60 per share

and IBM
Price $93
Cash $3.5 per share
NAV $13.30 per share

cheers

pimentoLoaf
Dec 20, 2003, 12:29 PM
I really love the people who write Apple articles then go on to mis-predict the future by saying, "Does the Mac have another 20 years in it? Probably not."

I had a relative who, whilst being a VP of a bank's investment research division (he's now an Episcopalian lay missionary), couldn't bring himself to believe in Apple. "They only have a 3% market share," (making me wonder how old that claim is) and couldn't see anything else.

Considering the crap coming out of Microsoft -- IE is said to have 11 design flaws that haven't been fixed as MS "won" the IE/Netscape war, so why should they bother -- why would anyone imagine Apple is (perpetually ;) ) on it's way out?

wdlove
Dec 20, 2003, 01:04 PM
In the end it's the CEO that provides the leadership and guidance. It is the leadership that he surrounds himself with that do the actual day to day work. The employees are the ones that really innovate and provide us with the products that we love.

weave
Dec 20, 2003, 01:27 PM
I'm in charge of tech support at a large multi-campus college. For those who hate Jobs, consider my history, one of those mysterious platform decision makers.

I bought a 128K Mac original in April 1984 after seeing a demo of it two months earlier. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, and knew this was the future. I followed up with purchases of the fat Mac upgrade, Mac Plus, Mac SE 30, Powerbook 140.

My enthusiasm was spread around the college and we started to buy Macs and equip some labs.

But then something happened. Really, nothing. I stuck around until System 7, which was my last personal experience. The instability of the OS at the time was becoming a support headache. NT 4 Workstation came out and it's OS model was far more stable. A single app couldn't bring down the computer. And those blasted cute INITs that people loved to load onto their office computers often made them unstable and caused even more support nightmares.

Our NT workstations were deployed using automated methods and the thousands of student accounts were generated automatically from student record systems. Separately, we had Mac labs with the appleshare file servers where lab-techs had to create and manage user accounts manually. A slow and error prone process.

While I'm sure there were automated methods out there for that platform as well, none of my staff knew much about them, and it became clear supporting two platforms was a large cost overhead. I had to maintain double the end-user support staff.

So we got rid of the Mac labs, consolidated all support staff over to the PC side, and set out to rid the campus of the rest of the Macs in offices.

The last holdouts were Marketing, who finally fell about a year or so ago. We bought them high-end Dells and I later sent down some techs later to confiscate their G4s.

Now, you may think me quite the nazi, but read on...

The confiscated G4s ended up being played with by my tech staff. I got my hands on one and loaded this new OS X (10.1) thing on it. Being quite the Linux lover for our servers, I thought this was the greatest OS of all time.

I went out and bought a flat-panel iMac for our living room, and found out I couldn't keep my wife off of it. The Dell I bought her a few months earlier remained unused in the other room. I then bought a then-new 12" G4 Powerbook. That thing is by far the neatest most used piece of computer equipment I own. (The combo of it, my t610, bluetooth, GPRS access that works around the world and that I can open it on a tray table in economy class on a plane is just the best!)

So, Steve Jobs turned me on in 1984, I lost interest during the Sculley years, and Steve Jobs charisma and efforts have bought me back. His dog and pony shows create far more enthusiasm than when Gates or Ballmer starts talking about their latest. The Office 2003 launch event was an absolute bore, for example.

When Apple makes a product or software announcement, I get excited. When Microsoft makes a product announcement, I am filled with dread at the thought of the deployment costs.

So, as time permits, and politics allow, I see the anti-Mac policies that I helped create to slowly start going away. For example, I have a Mac enthusiast on staff who is playing with integrating those confiscated G4s into our active directory domain. I see some positive Mac possibilities in the future for us.

(can't believe I wrote all this. Oh well, a nice lazy Saturday! :)

IJ Reilly
Dec 20, 2003, 01:38 PM
Originally posted by 365
If you read Pepsi to Apple you realise that John Sculley grew to be very passionate about Apple as much so as Steve Jobs even. The thing about Sculley that he is never credited with is the number of very unpopular decisions that he made that with hindsight were critical to Apple's future.

He presided over the largest restructuring in Apples history he made many unpopular decisions that cost the company a small fortune and led to the poor results. These decisions were desperately needed but ultimately led to his ousting. His legacy was a drastically leaner Apple which had significantly reduced operating expenses and I believe that other CEO's have benefitted from these decisions.

For me easily the worst CEO was Spindler he was good at nothing, neither charismatic nor a great business mind, the three years he was in charge were critical years and needed a strong business mind who could've taken advantage of the reduced operating expenses, instead he took Apple as close as they have ever come to becoming part of computing history. Thank goodness that he eventually went and we got Gil who was an excellent corporate mind unfortunately he had no passion for the company.

Truth told the best CEO for the job would be somewhere between Sculley and Jobs, if only they could've got on, they could have been a great team, the thing is that Sculley understood that a business needs more than just great products, it needs to make a profit.

I sounded a little bitter towards Jobs above but to be fair Steve is good for Apple, he's just too expensive a luxury, if he really is passionate about Apple he should cut his drawings.

Well said. I voted for Spindler, too. I can't think of a single thing he accomplished during his tenure at Apple. As nearly as I can tell, he was a suit in a chair. It probably wasn't as bad as all that, but Apple was certainly rudderless during those crucial years when a strong hand was needed more then ever.

I'm not sure I entirely understand the beef against Scully. Sure, he wasn't a great technologist, but he wasn't entirely bereft good ideas either, and he did re-trim the Apple ship's sails, and made the company bottom-line responsible, which it hadn't been before. Apple was more profitable during the Scully years then it was before or it's been since. Apple desperately needed "adult supervision" at that time -- and let's not forget, Steve brought him in for just that very reason.

kylos
Dec 20, 2003, 02:10 PM
Heh. I thought it was pretty funny when the Forbes article about the Apple ads said that Ellen Feiss acheived mini-celeb status because everyone could associate with her story. Not quite. Everyone thought she was high.

k2k koos
Dec 20, 2003, 03:16 PM
did anyone notice the stament somehere here on the Forbes website that Apple wouldn't survive another 20 years?

My feelings are mixed, at the moment they have a CEO that is firmly in control and making Apple into what it is today, now take away Steve, put someone one else in control, they will need to find someone witht similar insights and feel as Steve, tht is going to be hard, but then again Steve is not the only Apple employee, he doesn't do it on his own, but he get's people motivated.

Apple will survive the next 20 years if Steve stays, OR is replaced by a similar talented/gifted person
Else I see a dark future, the past has taught us that much...

ennerseed
Dec 20, 2003, 03:28 PM
Originally posted by k2k koos
Apple will survive the next 20 years if Steve stays, OR is replaced by a similar talented/gifted person.

I hope Jobs will not leave for a long time, but here's to hoping Ives is getting some CEO lessons.

alset
Dec 20, 2003, 03:36 PM
Originally posted by scat999999
Given what's he's accomplished since his return in 1997, imagine what Apple may have accomplished if Jobs hadn't been missing in action for 12 years.

He would likely have run Apple into the ground. Steve was not ready to head up a country. He had a real shot with NeXT (some of the best people in the industry working with him based on faith in his vision) and lost money at every turn. He tried to become involved at Pixar, but frustrated employees. Even before leaving Apple, Steve had pitted the Macintosh team against the rest of the company.

Steve needed a good dose of failure before he could approach such a position with maturity and wisdom. I'd say he's one of the greatest CEOs any tech company will ever know, but if he had been CEO in the 80s, Apple wouldn't have lived to see the 90s.

Dan

areyouwishing
Dec 20, 2003, 04:06 PM
I think steve has had the most DIRECT positive effect at apple. I also think the Mac platform will be around for another 20 years, x86 is dying slowly but surely and the powerpc is gaining slowly but surely.

It will finally get to a point where if you really want the fastest computer, you will be getting a mac, consumers will always remain in a pc world, i don't see that ever changing.

My personal hopes is that consumers will use OS X on intel, prosumers will use OS X on PowerPC.

My car analogy is that just because i have a VW, it doesn't mean I can't have heated seats like a BMW.

If i want the power of the BMW, or the sleekness of a BMW, im going to have to get the BMW. For now, I love my jetta. :D

weave
Dec 20, 2003, 05:20 PM
Originally posted by alset Steve needed a good dose of failure before he could approach such a position with maturity and wisdom.

I do believe you're probably right on the mark on that one...

IJ Reilly
Dec 20, 2003, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by k2k koos
did anyone notice the stament somehere here on the Forbes website that Apple wouldn't survive another 20 years?

That reference was to the Mac, not Apple. If Apple hasn't come up with something a quantum leap beyond the Mac by 2024, then they don't deserve to survive.

StrongBad
Dec 20, 2003, 06:22 PM
Simple:



Scully SUCKS ---> he ousted Jobs

Gil RULES ----> he brought back Steve





SB

Phillip
Dec 20, 2003, 06:34 PM
when jobs left in 1985, and scully went on being ceo, people still bought macs and apple suvived. as the products quality declined people STILL bought macs and apple really never died. apple secret? US (not me) but people who bought the original mac would tell people how good the mac was and more people would by it. this keep apple "alive" for the really bad years.

will the mac have another 20 years? only time can tell...

365
Dec 20, 2003, 07:57 PM
Originally posted by Phillip
will the mac have another 20 years? only time can tell...

Who really knows, someone above said how innovative Apple are at the moment citing things like iTunes music store and the Digital Hub, well these are great innovations but they make Apple little if any money.

Apple used to have a small market share but a massive margin now they have an even smaller market share coupled with a much reduced margin and that leaves them vulnerable in the long term.

This is a golden era for Apple, they have new faster hardware coupled with a truly first class OS but we are reaching a stage where many people purchasing a computer today will not require a new machine for perhaps four or five years.

My personal opinion is that to survive in the long term Apple should consider splitting itself into two companies or two divisions that specialise in software and hardware

eazyway
Dec 20, 2003, 08:03 PM
Originally posted by 365
.

My personal opinion is that to survive in the long term Apple should consider splitting itself into two companies or two divisions that specialise in software and hardware


Well Apple could do that but that would defeat some of the good things about Apple. The iSync , the Apps which are seamless. Now they might separate the Windows software division as they already a big Win App developer>

pimentoLoaf
Dec 20, 2003, 11:45 PM
Did Gil bring back Steve, or did Steve's reality-distortion field bring back Steve?

:cool:

docpsycho
Dec 21, 2003, 12:03 AM
Both were so a**nine in their behavior.

If I was a Apple Engineer at the time of the birth of the Mac and Steve opend a can of beligerant crap on me. I WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY TO RIP HIS THROAT OUT WITH MY BARE HANDS AND WOULD BE NEVER HAPPIER ABOUT IT.

One thing I liked about Sculley is that it did make Stevie boy grow the ******* up.

akac
Dec 21, 2003, 12:11 AM
Originally posted by sosumi99
I think I'm going to stick up for Gil a bit here. He certainly inherited a big mess and didn't do enough to turn things around, but the decision to buy NeXT ended up giving us Steve II and OS X. One could argue that that decision alone should redeem his reputation forever among Apple faithfuls.

Gil also started the iMac program that Steve turned into the savior of Apple. Not to say that Gil would have had the same success - he couldn't sell a G5 to an artist no matter how hard he tried.

tychay
Dec 21, 2003, 01:34 AM
Originally posted by StrongBad
Scully SUCKS ---> he ousted Jobs
Gil RULES ----> he brought back Steve


Others have already pointed out that Jobs wasn't exactly good for Apple back when he got ousted. Though I'll never forgive Scully for the Windows 1.0 thing: you'd think a CEO of the company the size of Pepsi could recognize a bluff.

I'm surprised nobody defends Gil for doing more than bringing back Steve Jobs. Dr. Amelio streamlined Apple's design and product chains and did all the custcutting to turned Apple on the course of profitibility long before Mac OS X could be made. Jobs benefitted greatly.

Those who remember the complexity of the product line, the sheer volume of products, the number of non-backward compatible parts, and the overstuffed supply channels do well to remember that Gil created a great environment that was ripe for Job's vision of the iMac and its subsequent "digital hub" strategy. I can't remember how many times it seemed Apple had more than enough of some part nobody wanted and not enough of something all the consumers wanted and would do idiot things like launch a product that burst into flames--Apple has a long history of battery nightmares, long before the current iPodDirtyWhiningSecret fiasco.

Think of how much balls it took to make the hardest decision of all: killing Copeland and shopping around for an outside vendor for operating system (with only one lesson from the past: to purchase the company outright). There would never have been an iPod at Apple if Gil hadn't got them over the "Not Invented Here".

Apple is a very lucky company.

alset
Dec 21, 2003, 03:52 AM
Originally posted by tychay
Dr. Amelio streamlined Apple's design and product chains and did all the custcutting to turned Apple on the course of profitibility long before Mac OS X could be made.

Which is why Jobs cut redundant products.... Gill didn't do nearly as much to free up space and focus on consumer identification as Steve. I know that Gil didn't create the problem, but he did little to help it. What do we have in the modern Mac lineup? i-machines and P-machines. iBook, iMac (consumer) - PowerBook and PowerMac (pro-user). Add the XServe for obvious server needs and eMac for education and you have an easy to understand line of machines.

Try explaining the difference of eight product lines, rather than two or three options on the four consumer/pro machines and let me know what you think. Customers who have never owned a computer are baffled.

Dan

iChan
Dec 21, 2003, 05:35 AM
Originally posted by alset
Which is why Jobs cut redundant products.... Gill didn't do nearly as much to free up space and focus on consumer identification as Steve. I know that Gil didn't create the problem, but he did little to help it. What do we have in the modern Mac lineup? i-machines and P-machines. iBook, iMac (consumer) - PowerBook and PowerMac (pro-user). Add the XServe for obvious server needs and eMac for education and you have an easy to understand line of machines.

Try explaining the difference of eight product lines, rather than two or three options on the four consumer/pro machines and let me know what you think. Customers who have never owned a computer are baffled.

Dan

i think it's all well and good having 4 consumer/prosumer lines and the xserve, because for a company on rocky roads, there is nothing better than having a streamlined product portfolio, however, I believe it is time for Apple to introduce further product lines to diversify their products...

what these products are, I don't know... but if anything, the current product line looks a bit thin on the ground.

tychay
Dec 21, 2003, 06:46 AM
Originally posted by alset
Which is why Jobs cut redundant products.... Gill didn't do nearly as much to free up space and focus on consumer identification as Steve

Actually, the trend was started on Gilbert Amelio's watch and most of the cuts (that you didn't see) happened under him. He was famous for having done the same thing to National Semiconductor and his resignation letter shows that the restructuring was what he was most proud of.

It took a long while before those trends reached a level that the consumer (and the shareholder) could notice. Restructuring cost Apple a lot of money and was a pretty gutsy move when you realize at what rate they were bankrupting themselves at the time. But it had its intended effect--the joke was that Apple's first few quarters of profit were due to Jobs just playing cleanup after Gil worked so hard to load the bases.

I do credit Jobs for making the new strategy clear (with the consumer/professional distinction in his keynotes). He also killed the Newton, folded Claris back into Apple (dropping a whole bunch of software products), and killed the clones.*

The first two, by this point, were making money so Gil didn't see the reason to do that (I think they were very smart moves. The former increased focus in the company; the latter was fixing a historical accident created when Apple was a strong company that others feared might become a monopoly). As for the last, killing the close would have (and did) screw over Motorola and the clone manufactures, so he didn't have the balls to do that.

Many regard the Jobs's killing the clones as the definitive act that saved Apple. When he took over the company, that action was a foregone conclusion given his public statements about them. But never forget, there was a consequence: the years in which everyone seemed to make faster computers except Apple: late 2000- early 2003.

The fact that Apple could find a path through that (IBM) is either one "insanely great" of all time, or simply dumb luck.

* Jobs also got rid of the striped multicolor logo. That could be considered a costcutting move because I heard it cost Apple a fortune to print it on their computers.

iomar
Dec 21, 2003, 01:17 PM
Well, as far as I know Steve Jobs is doing a great job at Apple ever since he is back. He has turned apple 180 degrees around. I remember those days right before Steve become came back to Apple. Apple was doing really bad and I was so afraid that any day I will lose my Mac for a PC at work. But not it is all different I think the table is turned. Apple is going strong and soon we will see a lot of PC users switching to Apple. OS X is wonderful! The new G5s are great. Can't wait to get one of them my self.

jderman
Dec 21, 2003, 01:31 PM
steve jobs = john galt

Did Gil bring back Steve, or did Steve's reality-distortion field bring back Steve

I cant help but draw comparisons to Mr. Jobs actions and love of his ego with out a comparison...

IJ Reilly
Dec 21, 2003, 03:29 PM
Originally posted by jderman
I cant help but draw comparisons to Mr. Jobs actions and love of his ego with out a comparison...

Ego does not explain it all IMO.

I interviewed Guy Kawasaki a few years ago for an article I was writing and I asked him a couple of questions about Steve Jobs. Guy's enigmatic response was that explaining Steve would be like trying to explain air to a fish. I took that to mean that Guy didn't comprehend Steve any better than anyone else.

jderman
Dec 21, 2003, 04:35 PM
I didn't intend to use the word ego in a negative sense. almost everything that has come out of apple in the second reign of Jobs has been HIS vision. In other words: Everything Apple is Steve Jobs.

Sayhey
Dec 21, 2003, 06:11 PM
IMHO, it is not even close - Spindler was the worst CEO in Apple's history. Remember the stories of him hiding under his desk? Sculley is a distant second. Amelio did important things in a time of crisis, though he lacked the vision necessary to bring Apple back (outside the vision to bring Steve back that is.) Without Jobs there would be no Apple - both in his first and second terms as CEO. Does it mean Steve is perfect? Hell no! However, Apple needs him to survive in a Microsoft world.

IJ Reilly
Dec 21, 2003, 07:24 PM
Originally posted by jderman
I didn't intend to use the word ego in a negative sense. almost everything that has come out of apple in the second reign of Jobs has been HIS vision. In other words: Everything Apple is Steve Jobs.

Absolutely, yes -- but I think a singular vision is about the only way for a company like Apple to survive. The company managed to fritter away every advantage it had in the days when it was run by committee and fiefdom. It would be welcome and probably helpful if Steve could present a somewhat less egomaniacal and eccentric public persona, but it seems like everyone who's made a difference in this industry is at least a bit odd in one way or another.

jderman
Dec 21, 2003, 10:21 PM
Absolutely, yes -- but I think a singular vision is about the only way for a company like Apple to survive. The company managed to fritter away every advantage it had in the days when it was run by committee and fiefdom. It would be welcome and probably helpful if Steve could present a somewhat less egomaniacal and eccentric public persona, but it seems like everyone who's made a difference in this industry is at least a bit odd in one way or another.

I totally agree, apples success is in no small part due to the singular vision of steve jobs. My original post was a positive criticism. I think of Jobs as an ego-ist (a good thing). I'll take a closed-minded narrow focused man with a vision and a goal over a weak leader who accepts every suggestion proposed to him (Spindler) any day. In part, i think might have been happy to see the (near)fall of apple in the late 90's because that gave him the chance to truly realize his vision with complete creative control. The buck stops at Steve these days, not the board. As for his public persona vs. the others, yeah he's totally in love with himself and blows off a lot of un-nessicary hot air, but who cares? As long as apple keeps making the best system out there, I'll stick with them. I won't hesitate for a second to jump ship when someone comes out with a superior system.

As for the other CEO's:

Spindler- Was a weak personality who basically took orders. (Can't think of anyone else like him)

Amelio- Good guy wrong place, you don't hire a truck driver to style your hair. His best decision was to step down and I applaud him for that.

Scully- Sold soda: but had a good solid buisness model. His greast achievement was giving apple's employees "creative slack" that allowed them to create some really cool products (However not practical).

fatbarstard
Dec 22, 2003, 03:03 AM
Trying to decide who was the best and worst CEO is a bit like trying to ask someone who is blind whether they like red or blue... for every vote for there is going to be a vote against...

Back in the mid 1990s I worked for a company that was moving from Mac to Windows becuase of the cost of the machines and the crappy software... I had the dubious role of looking after a bunch of these machines and no one was sad when a Mac was replaced by a PC. In short Appled sucked.

Now I won't have a PC. Just not going to happen. Why? Great products, great price and great software.

Jobs is certainly a visionary but he has also delivered. Whether the previous three guys were bad is a matter of taste - its so easy to be wise in hindsight. They made the best decisions they could at the time with the info they had available... The company is still here so nothing they did was terminal.

But remember great leaders stand on the shoulders of those that came before... Steve Jobs leagcy will not what he did while he was CEO version 2, but who he picks to lead the company when he goes.... that guy will have one hell of an act to follow....

PretendPCuser
Dec 22, 2003, 01:00 PM
Originally posted by fatbarstard
But remember great leaders stand on the shoulders of those that came before... Steve Jobs leagcy will not what he did while he was CEO version 2, but who he picks to lead the company when he goes.... that guy will have one hell of an act to follow....

I got a funny visual of Jobs standing on his own shoulders here. (though obviously there were other CEOs inbetween).

Has there ever been another person who CEO'd a company and then came back to re-CEO the same company?

Kinda funny!

:p