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Apple needs a leader to 'shoot it in the knees when needed', Xerox PARC man

Karen Haslam | April 10, 2013
Apple 'requires a charismatic leader who will shoot people in the knees when needed

When a dynamic leader is absent, "it means no group can come up with a good decision and make it stick just because it is a good idea," he adds.

Apple in-fighting

The suggestion that Apple needs a dynamic leader recalls the issues that emerged with Apple's executive team after the death of Steve Jobs.

Back in November 2012, an ex-Apple engineer claimed that Apple CEO Tim Cook has made a big mistake in firing Scott Forstall. Forstall was, according to Michael Lopp: "The best approximation of Steve Jobs that Apple had left".

It appears that Forstall was considered a natural successor to Jobs because he was a jerk. Lopp thought it was a good thing that Forstall wasn't liked by his colleagues. He believed that is was the tension and disagreement that helped Apple innovate.

However, reports last year claimed that Scott Forstall was 'fired' because he was so unpopular with his collegues. One report claied that Forstall was fired in a deal that meant that Bob Mansfield would return to Apple. Mansfield didn't like Forstall's confrontational management style, apparently.

A Bloomberg report also claimed that former iPod VP Jon Rubinstein was chatting happily at a party in Silicon Valley, until Forstall's name came up: "Then he turned away abruptly. 'Goodbye!' he said."

Reports also claimed Ive and Forstall had clashed to the point where they would refuse to be in the same room. "They didn't cooperate at any level. They always let Steve decide," claimed a Wall Street Journal source.

In addition, former Apple executive, known as the father of the iPod, Tony Fadell suggested that Scott Forstall "got what he deserved" when he was ousted from Apple.

Death of Margaret Thatcher

News of the death of Margaret Thatcher today has stirred up some hot debate in the office as to how Thatcher's management style might be compared to Steve Jobs. Like Jobs, some might suggest that Thatcher made difficult decisions that made her unpopular. In politics and in business, is the ability to make decisions that upset people a necessity, or should managers strive to keep everyone happy?


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