Excerpts: Handpicked for Apple: Tough-Minded Spindler Takes Over in Tough Times

  • As Apple Chairman John Sculley’s heir apparent for the last three years, Michael Spindler has been counted on to guide the young computer maker through its turbulent adolescence.
  • Now the 50-year-old, German-born engineer will have even more of a chance as Sculley announced Friday that he is turning over his post as Apple’s chief executive to his handpicked lieutenant.
  • “He has to pick the paths that hold promise and make the tough choices about the ones that don’t. He can do it,” said Jean-Louis Gassee, Apple’s former technology guru who left the company after a public feud with Sculley. “Spindler has none of the emotional baggage and all the intellectual firepower you need to pull the plugs on the programs that aren’t going anywhere.”
  • Nicknamed “The Diesel”–because, says one Apple employee, “he may be slow to get going, but once he builds a head of steam, there’s no stopping him”–Spindler has earned a reputation for being tough, focused and unafraid of making difficult decisions.
  • Spindler, who was born in Germany during World War II, scraped by with his mother in the grim years following the war. After graduating with an engineering degree, he worked throughout Europe for Schlumberger Ltd., Siemens, Digital Equipment Corp. and Intel Corp. Spindler is still a German citizen, but moved to the United States in 1990.

Source: Los Angeles Times