Apple may not have a new chief executive to be named at this week?s MacWorld show in San Francisco, but a Xmas practical joke by two of the company?s most senior board members nearly produced an unwanted candidate.
Apple interim CEO Steve Jobs and his best friend Larry Ellison, Oracle CEO and Apple board director, sent emails to long-time Apple critic Michael Murdock offering him the job as the new company head.
Murdoch, a 36-year old computer consultant who has enthusiastically promoted himself as a candidate for the post much to the apparent irritation of Jobs, received job offers from both men on 23 December.
First to arrive was Ellison?s which read: ?OK - you can have the job. Larry.? This was followed up by a second message from Jobs, which confirmed: ?Yep Mike, it?s all yours. When can you start??
But the Xmas tomfoolery got out of hand when Murdoch emailed back that he would start on 5 January. This resulted in a threat from Jobs that the police would be called in if Murdoch turned up for work.
He received a swift reply from Jobs, warning that he would not be allowed in the building. ?Please do not come to Apple,? said Jobs second email. ?You will be asked to leave and if you don?t, you will be arrested.?
Murdoch - who has no experience as a CEO - told the San Francisco Chronicle that he was not amused by Jobs and Ellison?s stunt. ``Just because they have millions and billions of dollars doesn't mean they can crap on the little guy,'' he complained.
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