Tuesday, July 15, 1997


The heavenly smell of meat roasting over an open fire, the ungodly pain of the year's first good sunburn, the ever-present itching of mosquitos swarming all over your body...

... NO, I was NOT talking about the latest Apple debacle, I meant summer. Sheessh. Although, I must admit there are some substantial similarities.

Where's the beef? It was former Apple CEO Gil Amelio's butt held closely to flame last week when Apple's board of directors invited him to leave. Citing a slew of Apple-speak including "declining profits" (now that's a news flash), "failure to return to shareholder value in a timely manner" (read: no profits = bye bye), and equally vibrant variations on you-didn't-do-your-job-fast-enough-and-we-need someone-to-sacrafice-so-hit-the-road-buddy jargon.

Not that Gil was a prized public speaker, but hey, if he can turnaround a semiconductor company, surely it shouldn't be no problem to get a little software/hardware company on its feet again...I mean, hardware, software, chips, what's the difference? D'oh!

Okay, okay, so the Apple Board screwed up in hiring the wrong person for the job... at least they're CONSISTENT. It was about a year and a half ago that they invited Michael Spindler to get the hell out of Dodge, and before that they booted John Sculley out the door.

Interesting "re-organization" strategy - but it just makes people out there using (and loving) the Mac scratch their heads and say "surely it can't get worse..."

Can, and has. Ellen Hancock, the EX Chief Technology Officer (read: cool chick in charge of all technical aspects for hardware and software) decided that she'd rather be sitting on a beach somewhere, so... yep - she quit, too.

So now, they're minus two of the most visible people in the company - and have given some measure of control to... get this... Steve Jobs! This is the same guy the same board jettisoned from the company HE FOUNDED. Just goes to show that you just never know.

Oh yeah - don't be too sad for "gool ol' Gil" - he was handed a parachute along with his exit survey, to the tune of over $7 million in cash and prizes. Seven million dollars for getting fired? Where can I sign up?

Special thanks to Jeff Pagano the FileMaker Pro Tips & Tricks correspondent for Mac Today for his kind words regarding this column in the latest edition. It's nice to know someone besides my wife reads this...

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