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Peak Apple: Forstall was 'closest thing to Jobs they had left'

Sweary, 'asshole' - to return from wilderness with beard?

Ejected iOS chief Scott Forstall was an "asshole" and Apple's "closest approximation" to Steve Jobs, according to a former senior employee.

Ex-Apple engineer Michael Lopp took to his personal website to swipe wildly at the Cupertino giant for striving to become a happy-clappy collaborative organisation, something Jobs would abhor.

Slamming Apple for firing Forstall last month, Lopp said the daddy of Siri and iOS 6 was the closest thing to the late Great Leader that Apple had:

While he was in no way Steve Jobs, [Forstall] was the best approximation of Steve Jobs that Apple had left

Forstall was like Jobs in three key ways Lopp said: he was an asshole, he was successful and no one was sure why. Apple would miss the presence of people who tended to blow up at departmental meetings and swear wildly about small design features, he said:

The word that worried me the most in the press release was in the first sentence. The word was “collaboration”. Close your eyes and imagine a meeting with Steve Jobs. Imagine how it proceeds and how decisions are made. Does the word collaboration ever enter your mind? Not mine. I’m just sitting there on pins and needles waiting for the guy to explode and rip us to shreds because we phoned it in on a seemingly unimportant icon.

Another former employee took to The Guardian last week to pen a critique of Apple's latest turn. But Dan Crow - who worked at Apple in the 1990s - does blame Jobs for a lot of the problems, suggesting that his Kremlin-style top-down management only worked when he was there and has left Apple rudderless after his death:

"Apple however is the opposite of the open, collaborative, slightly disorganised Google. It worked precisely because it was a dictatorship. But dictatorships without their dear leaders tend to fall to infighting, intrigue and inefficiency. This could be Apple's future." ®

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