Print 63 comment(s) - last by wordsworm.. on Oct 27 at 6:55 PM

Some employees have already quit after hearing one too many "Steve wouldn't like that" from iOS SVP

In the gaping leadership hole left by the death of Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) co-founder and driving force Steven P. Jobs, there's significant questions about who will step up and be the most "Jobsian".  

I. The Disciple Has Borrowed Much From His Former Master

While Apple appointed Tim Cook to succede Mr. Jobs at the CEO spot, the quiet mild-mannered businessman seems an odd cog to replace flashy, obsessive, dictatorial, performance-driven former chief.  But Apple's long-time marketing chief Phil Schiller and the head of internet services Eddy Cue don't feel like a much better fit.

Some are arguing that the iOS chief -- Scott Forstall -- is the most "Jobsian" and thus may be destined to one day lead the company.  At the iPhone 4S unveil, Mr. Forstall, an Apple Senior Vice President, dropped into hyperbole and flashy presentations of the iPhone features that reminded many -- according to Bloomberg Business Week -- of Mr. jobs.

Scott Forstall
Scott Forstall, iOS SVP [Source: Fast Company]

The similarities are no coincidence.  Reportedly Mr. Forstall -- 42 and the youngest Apple SVP -- was taken under the wing of Mr. Jobs, who served as his mentor.  Andy Miller former head of Apple's iAd group describes Mr. Forstall's close relationship commenting, "He was as close to Steve as anybody at the company.  When he says stuff, people listen."

At conferences he mirrors Mr. Jobs' fashion choices, wearing black shoes, jeans, and a black zippered sweater.  On the go he drives a Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG, in silver -- the same car Mr. Jobs did.

II. A Ruthless, Yet Admired Leader

Like Mr. Jobs, Mr. Forstall has installed his name on numerous Apple patents -- 50 to be precise -- many of which Apple's competitors complain lift technology published in peer-reviewed literature ten years or more before the application.  But in adapting to the lust for litigation Steve Jobs acquired [1][2][3][4][5][6][7] in his later years, he's poised to continue Apple's strategy of using lawsuits as a tool against the mobile market's top players.

And he's also continuing some of Mr. Jobs other controversial habits, such as ruthlessly driving employees to perform and obsessing over every detail.  In fact his favorite refrain is reportedly "Steve wouldn't like that" -- a phrase of used by Mr. Forstall to evoke shame in his underlings.  And like his mentor Mr. Forstall is reportedly inspiring a high burnout rate, driving away Apple engineers to competitors.
Steve Jobs RIP
iOS Chief Scot Forstall evokes Steve Jobs name to shame his employees into submission.  He evokes strong reactions -- much like Mr. Jobs -- at Apple.  Some love him.  Others hate him. [Source: Apple]

Former Apple software engineer Mike Lee remarks, "I once referred to Scott as Apple’s chief a–hole.  And I didn’t mean it as a criticism. I meant it as a compliment. You could say the same thing about Steve Jobs."

But in performance it's hard to argue with Mr. Forstall.  He's engineered the world's second most used smartphone platform and the tablet used by more people around the world than another manufacturer or OS maker.  And he's reportedly inspired his i-device staff to virtually live at Apple, skipping social events, and becoming fanatically devoted to the unit's products.

That latter accomplishment reminds many of Steve Jobs in the 1980s who led the Mac group which had an "us-versus-the-rest-of-Apple mentality".  Wil Shipley, an independent software developer who works on site at Apple recalls, "Every iPhone engineer and iOS engineer I know at Apple has some of that.  They will tease me that iOS is crushing Mac in sales."

In high school Mr. Forstall played the lead in his school's rendition of the Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd, reciting the harsh line, "There are two kinds of men, and only two.  There's the one staying put in his proper place and one with his foot in the other one's face."

Now he lives by that line.

III. From Stanford to the King of iOS

Graduating from Stanford University, Mr. Forstall quickly assumed a leadership role, designing the "Aqua" Mac interface, which Steve Jobs once remarked made "you [want] to lick it".  And he led the design of Leopard, another big computer success story for Apple.

In 2005 Mr. Jobs put his top staffers to the task of designing a mobile operating system for a phone.  The iPod team was in charge of one design.  They picked a customizable, Linux-based OS.  Forstall's Mac team was in charge of the other design.  He designed a closed-source Unix-like OS with cold exacting design and little customization.

Scott Forstall and Steve Jobs
Scott Forstall (left) may be Mr. Jobs' (center) most dedicated disciple.  Indeed he shares the late leader's penchant for theatrics, unrelenting performance demands, and a belief in closed systems. [Source: David Paul Morris/Getty Images]

Mr. Jobs reportedly expected the Linux team to triumph, but to his surprise it was Forstall who delivered the device with the best battery life and interface.  So instead of making Android, before Android, Apple made iOS.

But Mr. Forstall, like Mr. Jobs did show selective flexibility when necessary.  After disallowing third party applications on the first iPhone, he embraced them in the second generation.  The result was the App Store -- an application market that smart phone leader Google Inc. (GOOG) has still been unable to surpass in pure app volume, despite holding nearly twice Apple's market share.

Looking ahead, everyone's question is where Apple will go without Mr. Jobs.  With Tim Cook, Apple might end up looking more like a more demure, yet successful tech leader like Microsoft or Dell.  With Forstall eventually taking command, though, Apple reportedly might look a lot like it would have had cancer not claimed the life of Mr. Jobs -- ruthless, stylish, flashy, polished, and ever hungry.

Source: Bloomberg

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Spikesoldier on 10/13/2011 6:33:55 PM , Rating: 5
anyone else notice jobs is flipping off the crowd and that cockmongler is sitting next to him?

RE: lol
By kleinma on 10/13/2011 6:42:30 PM , Rating: 2
Almost looks like he only has 4 fingers there.

RE: lol
By ClownPuncher on 10/13/2011 7:01:16 PM , Rating: 5
I call it a thumb, you cloven hoofed pagan.

RE: lol
By vol7ron on 10/13/2011 10:19:20 PM , Rating: 5
Not to be disrespectful, but I'm kind of tired of reading about Jobs. 9% of Americans are unemployed, we should be focusing on the issues.

I did hear a rumor that Jobs and Forstall were romantically engaged.

RE: lol
By Reclaimer77 on 10/13/2011 10:35:31 PM , Rating: 5
Hey did you hear about Jobs? They tried to FLASH his life before his eyes, but he wouldn't support it!!!


Get it???

RE: lol
By DJ Brandon on 10/14/2011 12:30:18 AM , Rating: 2
dude LOL!!

RE: lol
By tastyratz on 10/14/2011 8:35:25 AM , Rating: 2
No, he was absolutely sure everyone would love and upgrade to the new Iphone 4s... He bet his life on it.

RE: lol
By Bostlabs on 10/14/2011 9:58:00 AM , Rating: 2
Man this is turning into Elvis all over again.

For those of you that weren't around... When Elvis died that only music that you could hear for quite sometime was his music. I liked Elvis. But I got so sick of hearing his songs over and over on every channel that I turned off the radio and just listened to tapes (8 track if you must know. LOL)

RE: lol
By Digimonkey on 10/14/2011 1:38:51 PM , Rating: 2
It's kind of like that except Elvis isn't really dead.

RE: lol
By Reclaimer77 on 10/14/2011 3:36:18 PM , Rating: 5
Hey I'm making up a joke here so let's see where it goes.

Steve Jobs is waiting in line for Saint Peter at the gates of heaven when he hears Peter call out "NEXT".

Jobs walks up and says "Hey you know who I am? I invented NeXT !"

Peter opens his book and sighs "Mr. Jobs, it says here you are arrogant and self-centered. Even here within sight of Heaven, you put your earthly achievements above all else. I cast you out!"

Jobs then arrives in hell, where he promptly strikes a deal with the Devil. "Satan", he says "I want you to have my legal team killed so they can get up there and sue that Saint Peter! Every time someone dies, that asshole uses "NeXT" without my permission!"

Huh!? Huh guys?? Come on give it up! lol :P

RE: lol
By cjc1103 on 10/14/2011 4:50:47 PM , Rating: 2
That was a flimsy joke, but I modded you up anyway, because I got a laugh out of it.

RE: lol
By aharris02 on 10/14/2011 5:26:20 PM , Rating: 1
That is until you posted a comment and your vote disappeared...

RE: lol
By retrospooty on 10/14/2011 11:21:02 AM , Rating: 3
LOL.... I know not everyone will see this at this time, but you know that quote at the bottom of the comments that changes with every screen refresh? Right now for me it's...

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

I just flashed on several comments about how they choose "law-suits" over outdated fabric based suits. nyuk nyuk nyuk

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki