As Apple?s troubles continue this week, two ghosts from the past have popped up to offer their thoughts on the company's direction.
Predictably, neither ousted chief executive Gil Amelio nor the ?forgotten co-founder? Mike Markulla were in a particularly generous frame of mind when they broke their silence this weekend for the first time since departing Apple.
Amelio spoke to a call-in radio show for two hours on Sunday, making clear his disapproval of Apple?s recent break-up with its PowerPC chip partners Motorola and IBM. He dismissed acting chief executive Steve Jobs as "a cheerleader" - not a sound manager as Amelio claims he was. Amelio claimed he warned Jobs, when he was brought back to Apple in January: "You can?t run a corporation just by being cool."
Last week, Jobs' policy of clamping down on the Macintosh clone market led to the breakdown of the company?s relationship with Motorola. Asked whether this was a strategic mistake, Amelio commented: "On the surface of it, it certainly doesn?t look like it?s going in the right direction."
Meanwhile, Apple co-founder Markkula chipped in to defend previous Apple regimes, even though they took the company into the red with cumulative losses of $1.7 billion. "Good decisions never get written about," he complained. "There were a lot of good decisions made by [John] Sculley, [Michael] Spindler and Amelio." Markulla was instrumental in hiring - and firing - all three men as CEOs.
But he insisted that rumours that Jobs - whom Markkula also helped to oust in the 1980s - had squeezed him out as revenge were wrong. "I was ready to leave two years earlier," insisted the man who had sat on the Apple board since its inception in 1977. He said he had delayed his departure when it became clear the company was in financial difficulties.
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