Apple's CEO Soap Opera

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by MacRumors, Dec 20, 2003.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001
    Forbes posts 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.
  2. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    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. ;)

  3. simX macrumors 6502a


    May 28, 2002
    Bay Area, CA
    They didn't link to As the Apple Turns. That's foolish, considering that AtAT actually is a soap opera. :)
  4. ITR 81 macrumors 65816

    Oct 24, 2003
    Best article on this I think was done in the recent issue of MacAddict. It's the Jan 04' edition.
  5. alset macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2002
    East Bay, CA
    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?


    edit: w00t for AtAT!

    AtAT! AtAT! AtAT! AtAT! AtAT! AtAT!
  6. ITR 81 macrumors 65816

    Oct 24, 2003
    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.
  7. reedm007 macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2002
    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"...
  8. Squire macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2003
    There are a half dozen articles on Apple and the Mac as part of the "Mac @ 20" feature in Forbes.


    <Edit: Sorry...5 stories.>
  9. ITR 81 macrumors 65816

    Oct 24, 2003
    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.
  10. BWhaler macrumors 68020


    Jan 8, 2003
    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.
  11. sosumi99 macrumors member


    Oct 27, 2003

    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.
  12. iChan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2003
    Dublin, Ireland.
    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.
  13. 365 macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2002
    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.
  14. sosumi99 macrumors member


    Oct 27, 2003
    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.
  15. iChan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2003
    Dublin, Ireland.
    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...
  16. Phillip macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2003
    what a great aritcle

    what a great aritcle... a great read. imo, scully isn't bad at all. everyone makes mistakes. even steve.
  17. ChrisH3677 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2003
    Victoria, Australia
    simple question: Where would Apple be today if Steve said no to Gil?
  18. ThomasJefferson macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2002
    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.
  19. McToast macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2003
    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.
  20. Karim macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2003
    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.
  21. 365 macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2002
    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.
  22. ennerseed macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2002
    Re: Gil

    Cheers, agreed. He did make that very good, very important decision!
  23. macMaestro macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2003
    Simple answer: Bankrupt
  24. iChan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2003
    Dublin, Ireland.
    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.
  25. Mighty64Lincoln macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2003
    Spfld IL
    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:

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