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Apple Grooming Next Gen of Executives

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the execs-2.0 dept.

120

capt turnpike writes "The modern Apple as we know it -- the good one with open-source Darwin, with Unix-based OS X, and so on -- was mainly the creation of NeXT: Steve Jobs, Avie Tevanian and Jon Rubenstein. What's going to happen to Apple once this troika leaves? eWEEK.com looks at the orderly transition out of Jon and Avie and asks whether things could go as smoothly should Jobs need to retire." From the article: "At some companies, such a loss of leadership could leave the company with a power vacuum or a lack of direction. However, Apple seems to be conscious that no single person--except, perhaps, CEO Steve Jobs himself--is irreplaceable, and that new talent can always be groomed for the future."

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120 comments

solution: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214966)

cloning and black turtlenecks

Re:solution: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215071)

Prince and Michael Jackson come to mind and possibly a name change to Banana. The iPod would have to be renamed the iPeel.

Re:solution: (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215138)

I always wanted a Banana Junior 6000 [rwth-aachen.de] computer!!! :P

Re:solution: (0, Offtopic)

blackbeaktux (525688) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215255)

Yes, and when Darth Jobs orders his clones to execute Order 66, he shall at last have his revenge against the Jed... nevermind.

Re:solution: (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215491)

>> Grooming Next Gen of Executives

This brings to mind an image of monkeys picking bugs out of each others' hair and eating them.

Re:solution: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215726)

>> Grooming Next Gen of Executives

>This brings to mind an image of monkeys picking bugs out of each others' hair and eating them.

Or paedophilia.

Re:solution: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215718)

Apple doesn't like clones.

troll slashdot.. (-1, Flamebait)

joeldg (518249) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214972)

lots of talent around here.. ...

H-1Bs are Available (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214985)

There is no shortage of cheap labor. If Apple management needs to find cheap talent, then the managers can hire H-1Bs. They are willing to work for below-market wages and for long hours.

Another alternative is to relocate Apple's corporate headquarters to Mexico or India. There, you can get really cheap labor to work as Apple managers.

They should just.... (5, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214988)

They should just hire someone from something like, oh, say a soda company. Selling computers can't be that different from selling soda...

Re:They should just.... (1)

Neil Hodges (960909) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215008)

Are you referring to the old joke reguarding the ``OS Beers''?

Re:They should just.... (3, Interesting)

mikeisme77 (938209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215053)

I don't know if you're joking or just not familiar with Apple's history... But the CEO when Jobs was forced out of Apple the first time was a former Pepsi exec. He's kind of credited with the string of "bad luck" Apple had in the 90's until Job's came back to the company after the aquisition of NEXT--at which time he ousted the current CEO and took over within a year (the CEO when Apple rejoined the company was a different CEO who only held the position for about 2 years).

Re:They should just.... (5, Interesting)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215328)

I'm sure the parent is well aware of that. Of course, as another poster points out with Jobs "do you want to sell flavored sugar water or do you want to change the world?", quote, it takes a different kind of CEO to run Apple. Apple always has been about marketing revolutionary machines and software, first with the Apple II, bringing computers to the masses, then the with Mac, redefining operating systems, and then with the iPod and iTunes music store, redefining how people listen to and purchase music.

People will point out that Macintosh wasn't really first with any of these things, and rightly so. Apple's genius has laid not so much in inventing (although it does a fair amount of that, a lot more than Microsoft) but in using a combination of engineering, fashion design and marketing to bring these things mainstream.

Honestly I don't know that Apple can survive without Jobs, at least not the Apple that has thrived on being at the cutting edge. He was the vision behind it initially, they putted along and then foundered without him, and they've made a huge comeback with him. His combination of vision, drive, cult-like fanatacism, and titanic ego kept it going. Likewise I kind of wonder if Gates handing the reins over on Microsoft was what turned it from unstoppable devourer of worlds into the dumb, lumbering behemoth its been lately. It just seems like the qualities that certain CEOs and businessmen use to keep their companies on the cutting edge are not just difficult to incorporate into a corporate culture, they are almost the polar opposite of being part of a corporate culture- a willingness to break ranks, take risks, and think in a completely different way.

Re:They should just.... (2, Funny)

Angostura (703910) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215970)

His combination of vision, drive, cult-like fanatacism, and titanic ego kept it going

I hear that Scott McNealy is looking for a job.

Re:They should just.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216706)

it takes a different kind of CEO to run Apple. Apple always has been about marketing, first with the Apple II, bringing computers to the masses, then the with Mac, redefining operating systems, and then with the iPod and iTunes music store, redefining how people listen to and purchase music.


There, I fixed that for you.

Re:They should just.... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215040)

They should just hire someone from something like, oh, say a soda company. Selling computers can't be that different from selling soda...

Don't be an idiot - they need to bring someone in with serious sales experience, such as the head of European operations.

Re:They should just.... (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215880)

Nonsense! Only a veteran CEO from a technology company is qualified. Preferably someone from the semiconductor industry.

Re:They should just.... (1)

NCTRNAL (780392) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215041)

Wasn't one of Steve's lines to (I think it was) Gil Amelio, who at the time worked for Coca Cola "do you want to sell flavored sugar water or do you want to change the world?" Funny how things come full circle like that.

Re:They should just.... (1)

zhiwenchong (155773) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215096)

No, it was John Sculley.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sculley [wikipedia.org]

Sculley (1)

wild_berry (448019) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215949)

And he worked at PepsiCo.

Re:They should just.... (3, Insightful)

dietrollemdefender (970664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215043)

They should just hire someone from something like, oh, say a soda company. Selling computers can't be that different from selling soda...

FTFA:This move created two new components of the company; the existing hardware division, which had been under Rubinstein's eye, split into iPod and Macintosh divisions.

Apple is a much different company than it was then. Apple is focusing on innovative consumer devices. I can't see Apple focusing entirely on PCs - it's a commodity business that's becoming more difficult every year to keep margins up - we'll see with the move to Intel chips :-). They have to keep expanding their business outside of the PC business and possibly have the PC business actually become secondary to Apple's primary businesses.

Re:They should just.... (4, Interesting)

telbij (465356) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215349)

I'd be interested to see if Apple's margins have actually dropped much recently on their hardware. Yes iPod is more successful, but as far as I know Apple's 'PC' business is still plenty profitable.

As Apple's marketshare has dwindled everyone translated that into Apple failing... but here's the thing, Apple isn't trying to sell cash registers, or help desk terminals, or word processors, or shipping stations. Those markets have grown explosively over the past 15 years, that's where the majority of PC growth is. The margins are so low Dell and Gateway have to sell 10 machines to equal the profit margin on a single Mac. Meanwhile any of those companies can be blown out of the water by the next bargain basement Chinese manufacturer.

Back in the OS 9 days, I think your argument would make more sense. OS 9 and Windows were so similar that commoditization was a real possibility. These days though, Macs are an a uniquely strong niche market: Professional Apps + UNIX. The value of OS X and it's developer base is not something that can easily be recreated by any other company. It's a lot more conceivable that Apple loses its appeal to the fickle iPod market where the only barrier to entry is creating a device. No one's been able to do it so far, but with the right marketing and a sense among hipsters that the ipod is 'so 2005' anything could happen.

I don't see OS X grabbing a lot of marketshare, or Apple's PC business growing fast, but I see them as having the strongest userbase of perhaps any electronics manufacturer. It may not satisfy Wall Street, but it will keep the profits coming in...

Re:They should just.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215386)

Apple is a much different company than it was then. Apple is focusing on innovative consumer devices.


Apple isn't selling innovative *anything* lately. The iPod is a glorified portable MP3 player, something that had been out for years before Apple had an idea to market the device. What Apple is selling is marketing. Look at any television program these days and there are a good chance you'll see an Apple computer sitting on a desk. Ask the average person about a portable music player and they'll use mp3 player and iPod interchangeably like old ladies use Kleenex and tissue. Apple has done a fantastic job of marketing overpriced Chinese-made products that are just as subpar in quality as all the other Chinese crap that comes out of their factories, but they do it with gusto and style. You're not hip or cool if you don't have an iPod or a Macbook Pro.

/puts his white earbuds back on, cranks up his iPod, and packs up his Powerbook for the day
//yep, I got suckered into this rock & roll Apple lifestyle and it's pretty fantastic

Re:They should just.... (1)

LeddRokkenstud (945664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215051)

I used to work on commission as a soda salesman. Needless to say, I didn't make much money.

Or a Fanatical German... (1)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215178)

Who hides under his desk as a form of stress relief.

Apr.27:Prostitute Schedule @ MBOT in San Francisco (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215306)

Like Las Vegas, San Francisco offers prostitution as a tourist attraction. If you want to buy some prostitution services (i.e., hand job, blow job, or full sexual intercourse), you need to merely walk through the doors of the Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theater (MBOT), located at 895 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, California.

Check out the prostitute schedule for April 27, 2006 at the MBOT [fuckedcompany.com] .

The prostitute schedule is updated daily.

Unlike Las Vegas, San Francisco does not regulate prostitution. So, the MBOT heartily welcomes everyone -- including HIV-positive customers.

Re:They should just.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215308)

I hear Eisner's out of a job after almost destroying Disney. With Jobs's new board position there, he could probably get that guy's phone number.


Funny how after tech guys leave the CEO spots, the companies start to suck - notice Balmer and Otellini were the first CEOs of those companies with a business rather than tech background; and since then they haven't been able to deliver any meaningful products and have had stocks that sucked.

Re:They should just.... (1)

garyrich (30652) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215735)

Whatever happened to that Belgian guy that used to run the Newton project? Maybe they should move him back in!

Re:They should just.... (1)

Eristone (146133) | more than 8 years ago | (#15217911)

I don't think he'd be allowed in the U.S. being a convicted criminal and all... those pesky immigration rules. (Hi Gary!)

WOW, I just posted a Craigslist column about this (2, Insightful)

NCTRNAL (780392) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215002)

Not two weeks ago. How ironic Here it is. Interesting to see what regular folks think about this kind of stuff. http://forums.phoenix.craigslist.org/?ID=41833383 [craigslist.org]

Re:WOW, I just posted a Craigslist column about th (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215270)

It's not ironic. Don't use words you don't know the meaning of.

Re:WOW, I just posted a Craigslist column about th (3, Insightful)

n2art2 (945661) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215482)

ok, Coward.

Who's the better person?

The one who incorrectly (however very commonly) missused the work ironic, or the person who hides as a coward and yells out from the crowd an insult?

Re:WOW, I just posted a Craigslist column about th (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216001)

The one who incorrectly (however very commonly) missused the work ironic

That's "word", not "work"; "misused", not "missused".

or the person who hides as a coward and yells out from the crowd an insult?

Insult? Since when is teaching him how to not look like a fool an insult?

I'll post stuff like this as AC until Slashdot lets me post with Score: 0. I don't want to pollute the real discussion (+1 threshold) with stuff that's offtopic.

How is "hiding" as an AC any worse than "hiding" behind a psuedonym? Or is "n2art2" your real name?

As for the better person, I'd say that it's the person who knows the meaning of the words he uses.

Promote from within?? (4, Insightful)

Lije Baley (88936) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215013)

What is this, a time warp? These days companies don't "groom" new talent, they buy it. They prefer to buy other companies' overhyped leaders, just like they buy other companies' overhyped projects instead of doing their own R&D.

Re:Promote from within?? (4, Funny)

tktk (540564) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215045)

I hear they can buy Michael Dell for only $389k after a $330k instant rebate.

Re:Promote from within?? (5, Funny)

mikeisme77 (938209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215075)

But it's a mail in rebate :P Who wants to deal with the hassle of all that? And sometimes you mysteriously don't receive the rebate check, and even when you do you have to wait like 10 weeks (about 2-3 credit card payments in between...) Is it really worth the hassle just to save $330k?

Re:Promote from within?? (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216112)

You also forgot about the manditory extended option waranty and fiduciary service plan that bloats the normal CEO cost well above the base price!

Re:Promote from within?? (4, Insightful)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215182)

"They prefer to buy other companies' overhyped leaders, just like they buy other companies' overhyped projects instead of doing their own R&D."

Like NeXT :)?

Re:Promote from within?? (1)

MrWa (144753) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216835)

Like NeXT :)?

Or Pixar?

Re:Promote from within?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216902)

Some do, other don't.

Sometimes one way works, sometimes the other.

Not merely grooming them (4, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215018)

They are also getting a full shampoo, claw clipping, complete set of shots and, if needed, spaying/neutering.

Re:Not merely grooming them (4, Funny)

Diomedes01 (173241) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215112)

Are they also getting their anal sacs cleaned?

Re:Not merely grooming them (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216327)

During the Depression, my dad's uncle worked his way across the countryside as a dog-buttsqueezer. "Howdy, mister farmer," he'd say. "Do you have any dogs that need a squeezin'?" And the farmer would call out the family hound and other various hangers on to have their butts squeezed.

Tough way to make a nickel - his price per butt - but I guess it beat the bread lines.

Digital Media Company (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215026)

Apple is rapidly transforming into a digital media company.

The people that were key to the Mac side of the company are growing less and less relevant to the future of the company.

OS X
Mac hardware
and most of the rest of Apple's desktop computing stuff is all going to quietly and gently be phased out of the next few years as the company focuses on the high growth area of consumer computing devices - small, mobile, and wireless.

Look for Apple to replace the Mac/OS X type people with people from companies like Sony and Disney.

The Era of the Desktop Computer is rapidly coming to an end. Companies in that market will survive but it will never be a booming market again. OS X/Windows -> Linux and Apple/Dell ->Asian manufactures over the next few year.

Re:Digital Media Company (1)

Ana10g (966013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215157)

The Era of the Desktop Computer is rapidly coming to an end. Companies in that market will survive but it will never be a booming market again. OS X/Windows -> Linux and Apple/Dell ->Asian manufactures over the next few year.

We're already seeing this, actually. The Asian manufacturers can *kill* the standard manufacturers on labor costs. This applies to more than just the computer industry, but for the sake of the post, we'll stay with the computer topic. Basically, our insatiable appetite for cheaper stuff is driving this. Witness the sale of the IBM PC division to Lenovo, which is Chinese. I don't know anything about how Lenovo is doing with the quality, it's too early to tell. And, Lenovo hasn't had the sense to ditch that silly ad agency yet.

John? ... (5, Funny)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215212)

John C. Dvorak? I thought that was you! How have you been, old buddy, old pal?

Re:Digital Media Company (2, Insightful)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215330)

The Era of the Desktop computer will very soon become The Era of the Home Server - desktops won't die, they'll simply become our centralized data storage and home automation servers. As it stands even now, many (tech minded) people run an old desktop as a server, and as the software improves, more people will use (static) machines to stream video and audio to every room in their house, and manage storage, synchronization and backup of multiple small, wireless devices.

The benefit of owning both a desktop and a laptop is that you can have, relatively affordably, a machine with massive storage space and computing power, and several portable devices all capable of sharing data regardless of geographic location (assuming there's a wireless signal). So, while the per capita ownership of "desktop" computers may decline - they will most certainly not disappear, just change form slightly.

Re:Digital Media Company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215692)

"So, while the per capita ownership of "desktop" computers may decline - they will most certainly not disappear, just change form slightly."

Thank you Einstein.

Re:Digital Media Company (1)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216413)

You're welcome, AC.

I bet.. (0)

SixDimensionalArray (604334) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215063)

..that there are at least 3, and many, many more well qualified and enthusiastic folks on Slashdot who would be able to do these jobs, who will probably read this post. Hey, you guys, submit your resumes! Maybe even post them here!

BTW, I do not work for Apple. In fact, I hardly use a Mac. That does not mean I don't like them! ;)

SixD

Aaaah, why is this not news here? (1)

AriaStar (964558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215105)

I live all of ten minutes from ol' Stevie, and no one here is worried. Just a bit of hype for the headlines. There are plently of people here who can take over these positions and the company will be just fine, as long as they keep coming out with a new mist-have iPod every month and keep upping prices on certain iTunes downloads. And I'm pretty certain that some of the post-dot-bomb homeless guys will enjoy the grooming and bathing.

Even so... (1)

lakerdonald (825553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215106)

Jobs was ushered out and came back once already. Who's to say that when this "troika" leaves, he won't just come back. If Cher's had 15421 farewell tours, why can't Jobs?
And besides, they can always clone him. He can be like Real Holographic Simulated Evil Lincoln.

Re:Even so... (2, Funny)

AriaStar (964558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215177)

Because Cher's got to be preserved with formaldehyde by now, and it's not too fashionable for men yet.

Re:Even so... (1)

lakerdonald (825553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215193)

Didn't stop them from preserving Leonard Nimoy's head...or was that just Futurama.

What do they mean by grooming? (1)

iXiXi (659985) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215125)

Does that mean the actually selling of the soul or just the removal of it?

Re:What do they mean by grooming? (1)

stunt_penguin (906223) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215417)

No, they just share it via an Airport Express, silly.

There's an idea! (1)

LiftOp (637065) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215128)

...Loss of leadership could leave the company with a power vacuum...

The Apple iHoover. Vacuum Different.(TM)

no no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215345)

It's the Apple iSuck

Re:There's an idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216392)

The Apple iHoover. Vacuum Different.(TM)

  Yup, you can count on Apple to design a vacuum that doesn't suck.
  Or was that the Microsoft XVac?
  I'm confused.

new CEO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215171)

Darl McBride would be more than happy to run the company.

Where are these new managers? (2, Insightful)

harshmanrob (955287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215176)

Most management I encounter makes me wonder how they got the job in the first place. My current employer boasts the most number of exceptions since my division is relatively new. However, in most organizations, management are the good 'ole boys clubs and these people are not interested in training new managers. Most people with any motivation or interest in management and not part of the club usually get trumped out...yours truly included (a number of times). I am happy to report I have no interest in leadership and no longer seek any management position. At the same time, I see all these articles about IT and management merging. That is like Oil and Water mixing. It ain't gonna work. People who write these articles are dumbasses with no idea of how IT actually works. IT managers would not ship jobs to India, non-IT managers do it everyday. Most people who get promoted from IT into a manager position do not last very long.

Re:Where are these new managers? (4, Insightful)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215230)

Your argument that "non-IT managers outsource to India, IT managers don't" clearly shows your lack of understanding (and respect) for management as a profession. Management does NOT mean keeping you people happy all the time; its impossible. Good management though does mean being consistent, supportive of your staff and their career growth, providing a positive work environment, and making hard decisions. It is HARDER to manage and individual's performance problem, or to selectively reduce headcount, than it is to give everyone 2 hour lunches and install a pool table in the cafeteria.

As for outsourcing...if I have a stable operations environment, solid architecture, dependable project management, reliable Q/A, and a clear product lifecycle infront of me, why WOULDN'T I outsource development if the quality was the same, I retain the source code, and I can get it for pennies on the dollar?

Re:Where are these new managers? (1, Insightful)

harshmanrob (955287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215332)

Do I respect management as a profession? No and nor will I ever. I respect people who competant, perform and bring value to the table. Do I understand management? You damn skippy I do. Too many good and hard working people are routinely shown the door when incompetent people manage to keep their jobs because they are buddy-buddy with the boss. Do not give me some load of shit those are "isolated" cases. We both know that is in fact, the norm. The qualities of a "good" manager you described above, I can count the managers I have met with those qualities on one hand, and I have been doing this for 15 years. You clearly are a manager and took a dislike to my observations. 99.9% people who have never been (or will ever likely will be) a manager would agree with my position.

Re:Where are these new managers? (0, Flamebait)

harshmanrob (955287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215591)

On a side note, who in the hell respects "management" is a profession? I mean every management class I ever took in college was "make money, make money, make money" and manipulation of those under you. Organizations like Enron show the goal of most managers, make an assload of money and screw everyone you possibly can to get it. Look at the management of the US. Should I respect those jokers? It sounds like you are a newbie in the IT field and management and it looks like you have a lot of learning to do.

Re:Where are these new managers? (2, Insightful)

AnalystX (633807) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215636)

I've got a news flash for you:

"Good management though does mean being consistent, supportive of your staff and their career growth, providing a positive work environment, and making hard decisions." == "keeping you people happy"

I know I would have very little to be unhappy about if the above were true.

Re:Where are these new managers? (1)

harshmanrob (955287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215805)

Like I said before, the number of managers that have ever kept me happy, I can count on one hand.

Here's why (1)

cecirdr (553580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215641)

"As for outsourcing...if I have a stable operations environment, solid architecture, dependable project management, reliable Q/A, and a clear product lifecycle infront of me, why WOULDN'T I outsource development if the quality was the same, I retain the source code, and I can get it for pennies on the dollar? "

...because outsourcing may involve building infrastructure in the other country and you may find that the pennies on the dollar figure isn't nearly as lucrative as it originally looked. It could involve cultural differences that impact business in a way that you haven't even imagined yet. It could provide you the headache/problems that at the present you don't have. Not having development problems is likely *why* you have such a good solid environment at the moment. It's easy to suceed at those tasks you listed if the technical side of the house works like a well oiled machine. But good management doesn't create great technical skills and cooperation. It just paves the way for folks to succeed *better*.

I've seen no *unequivocal* proof that the technical quality is identical. From what I've been presented, outsourcing has often caused a quality drop off or cultural/work ethic nightmares to overcome. There may be some instances of similar quality technical output, but often that's not the case. The technical shortcomings are just buried in the accoutning bottom line stressing profit.(which may not be as high as expected and/or not worth the effort or loss in reputation) In the short term it's a great way to generate wealth. But the problem is that in the long run it could impact your product reputation and eventually sales if you can't *guarantee* (and there is no guarantee...it's a hell of a blind investment) similar technical skills. So in the long term, there's a distinct possiblity that outsourcing is self defeating.

If everything is going well...why are you wanting to change it? Why do you want to throw the risk of getting a lousy development team into your mix? Remember the old saying..."if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Re:Where are these new managers? (2, Insightful)

boomgopher (627124) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216005)

As for outsourcing...if I have a stable operations environment, solid architecture, dependable project management, reliable Q/A, and a clear product lifecycle infront of me, why WOULDN'T I outsource development if the quality was the same, I retain the source code, and I can get it for pennies on the dollar?

Because it's destructive to employee moral, and does not contribute to your local society be paying income to local employees. You are piping money out of whatever country you are in, and milking the benefits of your safe, stable society and government and not contributing back to it. Why should you care? Because the country you are in enabled you or whoever to create your company. The local taxes indirectly subsidize your business via military and police portection, infrastructure, etc. India, etc. did not.

Don't even try the "ah but I can spend more here because of the cost savings" stuff. X dollars in 5 hands contributes more to society than X dollars in 1 hand.

Thing is... (2, Interesting)

rez_rat (1618) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215184)

They're grooming them over at Pixar and Walt Disney!

Meaningless statement (2, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215236)

However, Apple seems to be conscious that no single person--except, perhaps, CEO Steve Jobs himself--is irreplaceable, and that new talent can always be groomed for the future."

Hm. So, except for the person who personifies the company in every way, everyone's replaceable. That's a pretty big "except."

I hear Carly Fiorina is... (1)

kpainter (901021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215250)

...available. She has lots of experience running a high tech company. Well ok, she ran a high tech company into the ground but still.

Re:I hear Carly Fiorina is... (1)

harshmanrob (955287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215609)

Well put...HP almost became another Enron. Good thing they bounced this bitch and headed off the demise of HP at the pass! Could have been real bad here.

The tech industry went in the toilet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216163)

She didn't put it there.

HP was full of people that wouldn't do the work, extra layers of management, etc. I'm sure that Lew Platt's incredible leadership would have sent the company to new levels of success. Um, no. Remember what day the merger was announced, Sept. 10th, 2001. HP didn't have much of a chance to make good press out of that during the time after 9/11.

Did HP have screw ups? Yep.
Did she have the personality of dog vomit? Yes.
Did the merger ruin the company? Nope.

Most of what she predicted well in advance has come to pass.

Re:The tech industry went in the toilet. (1)

kpainter (901021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216872)

Your premise is that HP was a computer/printer company and that is it. That is what HP has become. I don't buy anything HP post-Carly. Pre-Carly, I bought everything I could HP.

Re:I hear Carly Fiorina is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216785)

"she ran a high tech company into the ground "

Make that two companies - Compaq and HP were perfectly good competitors, and what good came of the merger? None. All of Compaq's niche technologies were canned, and Carly's legendary "everything's already been invented, we just have to sell it" speech to the R&D labs pretty much summed up her ability to do her job. The net result of that merger is a massive, inconsistent and confusing product line that I just can't be arsed with - at last look there were about 43 different laser printers!

HP labs pretty much dominated the R&D arena throughout the 90s, and once they lost a huge chunk of the workforce - well, that was the kind of team with experience that gets built over time, and one that you just can't put together again, no matter how much you want to...

That woman does my nut in...

Re:I hear Carly Fiorina is... (1)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218060)

Make that two companies

Three. Remember Lucent?

--saint

Grooming? (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215252)

Pick out the lice.
Slosh on the hair grease by the gallon.
Comb all the knots out.
Staunch all the bleeding.
Subject them to lethal doses of RDF radiation.
Slap them into jeans and a turtleneck.
?!?!?!?
Profit?

There can only be one Jobsian (4, Funny)

arcite (661011) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215282)

For centuries, two races have evolved hidden deeply within Apple co. The aristocratic, sophisticated Newtonites, and the brutal, feral Hypercardians. To humanity, their existence is no more than a whisper of a myth. But to each other, they are lifelong mortal rivals, sworn to wage a secret war until only one is left standing. In the midst of this ongoing struggle, an ipod warrior, itunes, discovers a Hypercardian plot to kidnap a young pippin off spring. After shadowing Pippin through the city, the Newtonites forms an unprecedented bond with it, and when the Hypercardians make their next move, Newton is there to fend off their vicious assault. As it races to save Pippin and unravel the Hypercard intrigue surrounding Pippin, the Newtonites discovers a secret that has terrifying repercussions for both Departments--a nefarious plan to awaken a new invincible Application of domination that combines the strengths of both devices and the weaknesses of neither, which threatens to tip the balance of power in favor of the Hypercardians, who have been on the losing end of the struggle for decades. There can only be one! Long live the Jobs.

Re:There can only be one Jobsian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215677)

You're casting pearls before swine.

"The Good One"? (2, Insightful)

Illbay (700081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215294)

...the good one with open-source Darwin, with Unix-based OS X, and so on...

As opposed to "the bad one" with AppleOS, MacOS through 9, Nu-Bus, etc.?

Wasn't that the same guys? (Or Jobs, anyway).

What makes the OP think that these guys are such altruists?

Tagged "darwinbluff" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215545)

I tagged this "darwinbluff", and so should you. It has ceased to be open source, as it can't be built anymore, and almost all Apple Open Source projects are getting the same treatment. They just went along for a while as long as it benefit them . which they are entitled to, but it really grinds my gears that they get good PR for it, when they don't deserve it.

Re:"The Good One"? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216285)

Wasn't that the same guys? (Or Jobs, anyway).
Well, no. Not from 1985 when Sculley forced him out until 1997 when Apple brought Jobs back after purchasing NeXT.

Re:"The Good One"? (2, Insightful)

eclectic4 (665330) | more than 8 years ago | (#15217081)

"As opposed to "the bad one" with AppleOS, MacOS through 9, Nu-Bus, etc.? Wasn't that the same guys? (Or Jobs, anyway)."

No, it wasn't. For 12 years (1985-1997) it was Scully, etc... did you forget Jobs was ousted, only to see the company come perilously close to failing until Jobs came back?

so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215295)

so whoever gives mr. jobs a job gets the job then?

transition plans (2, Interesting)

drgroove (631550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215397)

Corporate transition plans are actually a critical structure to have in place to ensure the vitality and success of an organization in the event that a key executive needs to depart suddenly, retire, or passes away. Maintaining company focus, shareholder value, quality of deliverables (services, products) can be severly impacted when a company does not have a migration strategy in place, and an event occurs where one or more key players leave or are removed.

The company I work for recently had the COO step down. The exec team had a transition plan in place, though, so day to day operations weren't impacted in the least. The new COO was already familiar w/ operations, the staff, procedures, goals, directions, initiatives of the company, and was able to step in with only a few weeks of transition. Had we not had this plan in place, who knows what the impacts would have been.

Given Jobs' age (50+), this is the appropriate time to begin thinking about succession. It also gives Apple the opportunity to bring a new face to its customers & shareholders to ascertain what the impact on the company's image is; this is a huge concern to Apple, which is one of the few IT companies whose founder/CEO ranks as a 'superstar'.

Apple is a bit like Cuba in this manner; should Jobs/Castro bow out suddenly, the resulting chaos would be catastrophic.

Apple without Jobs (0)

TheEqualizer (812747) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215514)

I just cant imagine anyone else leading apple like Jobs has, most other CEO's don't have one thousandth of his strive for perfection and style, I don't really see anyone else as such a working force behind both the design, user interface, marketing and vision like Jobs is. He is indeed irreplaceable. He's more of a prophet than a CEO, a religious, visionary figure.

Re:Apple without Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215637)

Apple without Jobs is Apple selling computers intead of iPods. Under Jobs's "leadership" the company focuses on selling computers and iPods Jobs said were foolish and has fallen behind Linux in marketshare. Woo Hoo! Last place! For example, he claimed Apple was all about 64 bit and then when to a 32-bit Intel. When asked if Apple would make a video iPod, Jobs, with a smirk, posed the question: who would want to watch video on a 1.5 inch screen? Sure, he's got some good ideas, but he's the best at driving his company slowly into the ground.

Brazil? (1)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215542)

So they started looking for the best Steve Jobs clone of all the ones they scattered thoughout the world?

Irreplaceable (1)

Trevin (570491) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215569)

Yes, you can groom new talent for the future, but I don't think you can exactly replace vision. Vision is a unique perspective of an individual, and comes from that individual's particular lifetime of knowledge, experience, and dreams. In this respect, no two people are are alike, or even similar, and it would be rare to find a pair who are even close.

Once Steve Jobs is gone, the next CEO of Apple is going to have a different vision. It may be just as good as Steve's, or better, or worse, but odds are it will not be the same.

Apple=Sun with a French Accent (0, Troll)

ThoreauHD (213527) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215643)

They are commodity now. The nick-nacks they sell are RIO based toys(most profitable). I don't know why anyone would be concerned with how apple grooms it's "leadership". Taken from the book of 'who gives a shit'- please move along. The leadership of apple.. OMG.. haha. You guys kill me. 2% is called an outlier, not a point on a graph.

Too much Jane Goodall (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215725)

Am I the only one who had a picture of a gaggle of PHB running their fingers through each others back hair, picking out nits and cracking the frantically struggling insects between their teeth. Cuz, really, I can't think of much else for which management would have an aptitude.

Jobs may be a liability to finding his replacement (1)

abb3w (696381) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215813)

From what I've heard, his personal drive, vision, and perfectionism are one of the keys to Apple's success.... but he doesn't react well to those anyone within the company with a different vision. If they can't be easily persuaded that Jobs Is Right, they are marginalized or chased out. Since visionaries do not tend to all think the same way, this would tend to reduce the internal pool for profound visionaries for selecting a replacement.

I don't work for Apple, so anyone there should feel free to explain how my hearsay reports about his behavior patterns are wrong.

Re:Jobs may be a liability to finding his replacem (2, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216357)

Well, he'd probalby prefer someone whos "visions" match his own. Not necessarily because he likes being told how good his ideas are, but because he's very often been right, and has much success. You're right, it reduces the pool of candidates, but that's a good thing. Finding a person isn't hard, finding the right person is. Anything that can help you trim away people is a good thing.

I've never met Jobs, so I'm just guessing, but I'd imagine that at times, he's more than willing to entertain other people's ideas and criticisms, it's just that at the end of the day, he's the boss, and once he's made a decision, you need to commit yourself to making that a reality, or else he doesn't want you as an employee. And that doesn't seem like a particularly bad way to run things. But maybe I'm wrong about all this.

Apple's New Troika: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216131)

Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, Lawrence Lessig...

Google rhymes with Apple (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216165)

Hmm. I wonder where all the smart people are moving ...

done! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216293)

they've already hired a few good guys there like Giampaolo(BeOS), Matas, (delicious monster) Hubbard, (freebsd) to name a few...

The Solution! (1)

fatmal (920123) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216640)

Scott McNealy is available!

good? (1)

penguin-collective (932038) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216934)

The modern Apple as we know it -- the good one

Good in what sense? Apple is still fairly litigious, they still claim to have invented things they haven't actually invented, and they are still highly proprietary in many areas. They're "good" relative to Microsoft, but I think that's not saying all that much, and there are more than two choices, you know.
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