Excerpts: ‘The Unsung Hero Of Apple’s Success’
- Apple Computer Inc.’s chief executives have mostly been larger-than-life personalities. First there was Steve Jobs, the smooth-talking, smooth-looking California native who made himself a folk hero by turning a garage hobby into a wildly successful computer company–all by the time he was 30. Later, there came John Sculley, the publicity-savvy former PepsiCo marketing man turned high-tech visionary, who hobnobs with the Clintons and is a media favorite when it comes time for someone to talk up the new world of interactivity, multimedia, and the like.
- The mold has just been broken. Michael H. Spindler, Apple’s new CEO, is a stout 50-year-old German who is rarely quoted in the press and is known more for his nuts-and-bolts organizational savvy than any technological vision. A 13-year Apple veteran, Spindler has risen to the top because of his skill at reining in costs and at raising productivity.
- “He understands manufacturing, he’s brilliant and hardworking, and he has less of a commitment to having a public persona,” says board member Bernard Goldstein, an investment banker.
- Insiders say that for the past three years, while Sculley was racking up frequent-flier miles, Spindler has been running Apple–in fact if not in name.
- Spindler, for example, is the one who compressed Apple’s product-development cycles from a too-costly 18 to 24 months three years ago to just 9 months today. “I think Mike Spindler is the unsung hero of Apple’s success over the last two years,” says Jobs.