Apple brought Steve Wozniak back into the fold last week, less than two months after the return of fellow co-founder Steve Jobs.
The appointment came as Apple announced a major restructuring, its second in 12 months. The plan will include job losses - reports suggest as many as 3,000 worldwide or 20% of its workforce - and possibly the sale of the company's Newton PDA business.
Wozniak joins Jobs in an advisory role on the company's executive committee.
Jobs returned to Apple as an adviser in late December when the company bought his NeXT Software venture for $400 million (#250 million).
The new company structure is designed to provide Apple with "simpler, leaner teams that can aggressively bring products to market", according to Gil Amelio, Apple's chairman and chief executive.
The changes include apparent demotions for both Ellen Hancock and Marco Landi. Hancock, previously chief technology officer, is to head a new technology office, responsible for quality control. Landi, previously chief operating officer, will be in charge of worldwide sales and support for the education, business, publishing and consumer markets.
The plan also involves a centralisation of all marketing functions. A new marketing division will be responsible for all product marketing, developer relations, licensing and advertising. This will be run by Guerrino De Luca, formerly president of Claris, Apple's software division.
Apple has yet to confirm the scale of the job losses, which follow 1,500 cuts last year.
Following the restructuring, Amelio faced a shareholders' meeting in California at which he sought to reassure investors over the company's future.
After an hour's presentation outlining his five main areas of concern (see box above) and proposed solutions, Amelio spent a further hour facing a barrage of questions from worried shareholders.
During the conference, Amelio said he actually preferred the corporate structure he unveiled at a worldwide developers conference last May but due to the company's $125 million fourth quarter loss had been forced to centralise operations.
"It's the best way to get your hands around a troubled business. Until we get this baby profitable we're not going back to the old structure," he said.
Michael Gartenberg, senior analyst at the Gartner Group, dismissed press reports of Apple's imminent death as greatly exaggerated. "Apple customers should not buy into the media's hype and should not make rash platform-migration decisions," he said.
Apple: areas for concern
Gil Amelio's five main gripes with Apple
1 Liquidity - Amelio said when he took over the company it had seven different financial systems and no forecasting capability.
2 Quality - Amelio said QA problems had cost Apple hundreds of millions of dollars in repairs and loss of consumer confidence.
3 OS strategy - besides delays to the Copland OS plan, Apple had no plans for any system updates after 7.5.3
4 Culture - "It was unbusiness-like", said Amelio. "I was astounded at the lack of cohesion between the different units."
5 Fragmentation - The plethora of product directions and burden of unprofitable product lines weighed Apple down in 1996.
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