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Mac Automation Product Manager Sal Soghoian Leaves Apple After Position Eliminated

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple has eliminated the Product Manager of Automated Technologies role, ending Sal Soghoian's employment with the company. Soghoian revealed the news at the MacTech Conference in Los Angeles, according to Mac Observer. He also posted about the news on his website, which is dedicated to the user automation community.
Q. I hear you no longer work for Apple; is that true?

A. Correct. I joined Apple in January of 1997, almost twenty years ago, because of my profound belief that "the power of the computer should reside in the hands of the one using it." That credo remains my truth to this day. Recently, I was informed that my position as Product Manager of Automation Technologies was eliminated for business reasons. Consequently, I am no longer employed by Apple Inc. But, I still believe my credo to be as true today as ever.
Soghoian was responsible for advancing a number of automation technologies for Apple, including UNIX CLI, Apple Events, JavaScript, AppleScript, Automator, Apple Configurator, scripting support for Photos, iWork, Finder, Mail and other Apple programs as well as Master for iTunes tools and Dictation Commands.

Since Apple eliminated the position, it's unclear what the move means for the future of automation technologies in macOS. Soghoian says the best thing to do for those concerned is to direct any questions or concerns to Apple.
If user automation technologies are important to you, then now is the time for all good men and women to reach out, speak up and ask questions. The macOS user automation technologies include: UNIX CLI (shell, python, ruby, perl), System Services, Apple Events (JavaScript, AppleScript, AppleScriptObj-C, Scripting Bridge), Automator, Apple Configurator (AppleScript, Automator), and Application scripting support in Photos, iWork, Finder, Mail, and other Apple applications.
Starting on December 1, Soghoian says he will begin considering opportunities and is available for consulting for user automation services. He also says he's optimistic about the future of user automation. "I've seen the benefits and power of individuals being able to automate critical and repetitive tasks," he wrote on his website. "Solution apps are great, emojis are fun, but there's nothing like really great automation tools."

Photo Credit: Andy Ihnatko

Correction: Original version of this story said that the MacTech Conference took place in San Francisco. It did not, it took place in Los Angeles.

Article Link: Mac Automation Product Manager Sal Soghoian Leaves Apple After Position Eliminated
 
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vjl323

macrumors regular
Sep 7, 2005
206
155
Western North Carolina
This is very, very bad news. I'm the last person to get on the "Apple is doomed" boat, but this really does not bode well. Do some research on this guy - chances are, things he has worked on are things you've used and created habits for to increase your productivity. Him leaving by Apple's choice is a change in direction that does not feel good to me.
 
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weup togo

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2016
351
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This is not an isolated incident. There have been widespread layoffs throughout engineering in the past few months. The hundreds fired from the Titan car project was just the beginning. Sal and a number of other very senior managers and directors are gone, as well as lots of line staff scattered across many teams.

They weren't sub-par people either. Some of them were superstars. The common thread is that they were by and large very expensive. And there's a hiring freeze too. Apple is having serious financial stress this quarter, and they're using unprecedented cost-cutting layoffs to try to stem the damage.
 
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Aldaris

macrumors 68000
Sep 7, 2004
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Salt Lake
This is worrisome.

Is this a breadcrumb leading to the fashion lifestyle brand? Leaving the Mac an appliance, when watch bands and such are the focus.

I've been trending closer and closer to the "Apple is doomed" camp, primarily with the unknowns of the Mac Pro updates, and even more with the graceful exit of the display arena. When Rose Gold, emojis and watch bands are focus, along with a book to rest their laurels on...

How do you just eliminate a position of someone whom by accounts seems to have been instrumantal across many of Apples signature in offerings? Troubling times indeed.
 
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Rkuda

macrumors regular
May 23, 2016
146
201
This is a damn shame, he was very passionate about what he was doing.

I watched his wwdc presentation last summer when Apple first released the videos and he was doing some insane stuff with automation.

The wwdc video has since been removed...

That's some pretty piss poor work there Apple.
 
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dumastudetto

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2013
3,532
4,410
This is worrisome.

It really isn't:
http://dougscripts.com/itunes/2016/11/sal-sagohian/

I quote:
"Before we get all crazy, it is Sal that is no longer at Apple. The technologies remain."

And:
"Meanwhile, I am optimistic about the future of desktop automation on the Mac. "

People need to chill out. People come and go from jobs all the time. This is no big deal. The future has never been brighter for Apple and their powerful computing platforms.
 
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burgman

macrumors 68020
Sep 24, 2013
2,117
1,593
Another day, another Cupertinoian red flag. It's like watching the titanic sink in very slow motion.
Apple has a long way to go before getting in the same layoff binge as Microsoft. About a third of Apple's workforce would have to go. Mostly likely he was vested and very wealthy so we aren't getting the complete picture. Oh yeah almost forgot.... Apple is doomed
 
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cariacou

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2010
505
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They decided to replace his contributions by a home button for MacOS X devices
 
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Markoth

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2015
490
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Behind You
Apple: You mess with AppleScript, or stop improving it, or you mess with the CLI, I'm done. Windows PowerShell is improving, and the Linux CLI is as powerful as the Mac CLI currently is (minus the awesome proprietary commands that Apple provides, unfortunately), so when push comes to shove, I will have alternatives. Please don't force my hand. I use automation technologies on the Mac all the time, and won't be able to work without them.
It really isn't:
http://dougscripts.com/itunes/2016/11/sal-sagohian/

I quote:
"Before we get all crazy, it is Sal that is no longer at Apple. The technologies remain."

And:
"Meanwhile, I am optimistic about the future of desktop automation on the Mac. "

People need to chill out. People come and go from jobs all the time. This is no big deal. The future has never been brighter for Apple and their powerful computing platforms.
It's not so simple! They're removing the position itself! That means fewer people working on Mac automation tech. Eliminating a leadership role doesn't bode well for the remainder of the people still working on it.
 
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BB8

macrumors regular
Jan 26, 2016
219
731
This is not an isolated incident. There have been widespread layoffs throughout engineering in the past few months. The hundreds fired from the Titan car project was just the beginning. Sal and a number of other very senior managers and directors are gone, as well as lots of line staff scattered across many teams.

They weren't sub-par people either. Some of them were superstars. The common thread is that they were by and large very expensive. And there's a hiring freeze too. Apple is having serious financial stress this quarter, and they're using unprecedented cost-cutting layoffs to try to stem the damage.

They're in the process of launching a brand new marketing team though.
 
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PizzaBoxStyle

macrumors 6502
Dec 11, 2014
321
412
Apple HQ Cupterino Spaceship
This is not an isolated incident. There have been widespread layoffs throughout engineering in the past few months. The hundreds fired from the Titan car project was just the beginning. Sal and a number of other very senior managers and directors are gone, as well as lots of line staff scattered across many teams.

They weren't sub-par people either. Some of them were superstars. The common thread is that they were by and large very expensive. And there's a hiring freeze too. Apple is having serious financial stress this quarter, and they're using unprecedented cost-cutting layoffs to try to stem the damage.

Yikes!

Well I hope they at least keep making phones. I can switch to Windows for my desktop, but I don't know if I can switch to Android for my mobile phone!

Also purely out of curiosity, do you have a source (insider?), or is this your analysis of several different sources? Genuinely curious as it sounds like things have gotten more bleak than I'd realized! :eek:

Off to check Glassdoor!
 
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jonnysods

macrumors 604
Sep 20, 2006
6,659
3,465
There & Back Again
This is not an isolated incident. There have been widespread layoffs throughout engineering in the past few months. The hundreds fired from the Titan car project was just the beginning. Sal and a number of other very senior managers and directors are gone, as well as lots of line staff scattered across many teams.

They weren't sub-par people either. Some of them were superstars. The common thread is that they were by and large very expensive. And there's a hiring freeze too. Apple is having serious financial stress this quarter, and they're using unprecedented cost-cutting layoffs to try to stem the damage.

What's with that bloody huge building then!!
 
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