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iCloud product manager departs Apple for health education company

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Apple's Senior Product Manager for iCloud has left the company to join youth health curriculum provider HealthTeacher as Vice President of Product.

HealthTeacher announced Tuesday in a press release that John Herbold has left Apple to "lead the development of interactive products focused on improving youth health" for the company.

Herbold served as a Senior Product Manager for iCloud from June 2007 to June 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile. HealthTeacher's statement notes that he "played a key role in the creation, development and launch of iCloud and led the development and marketing of Photo Stream" during his time at Apple. Prior to working on iCloud, Herbold served as a Senior Product Manager on the MobileMe team.

HealthTeacher is already playing a significant role in improving youth health through its work with teachers and schools. I look forward to leading the effort to enhance digital engagement that will equip our youth for a more successful future, Herbold said.

Herbold graduated from Miami University in 2002 and worked as an IB Analyst for A.G. Edwards & Sons before going to business school at Duke University. While in business school, Herbold worked at Apple as a Product Marketing Intern, eventually joining the company full-time after he graduated in 2007.



Apple will officially launch iCloud this fall. The Cupertino, Calif., company previewed the free service earlier this month, highlighting seamless backups of iOS devices, iTunes in the Cloud and a Photo stream service that will automatically upload photos from iOS devices and push them to other devices and computers.

Herbold joins a couple other high-profile employees who have left Apple in recent months. Bertrand Serlet, who served as the company's Mac OS X software chief and had worked with CEO Steve Jobs for 22 years, left the company in March. Last week, Apple's retail boss Ron Johnson moved on from the company to become the CEO of retailer J.C. Penney. Johnson oversaw the launch of Apple's successful retail business through to its ten year anniversary last month.

While Serlet's replacement came internally, Apple has yet to find a replacement for Johnson and is "actively recruiting" for a new retail chief.
post #2 of 35
Let me start, for the joke of it, on behalf of FUD troll everywhere....

Apple is doomed! From the exodus of senior management staffs of late.
post #3 of 35
Who cares? Are we going to report every single Apple employee departure?

An what's this "several" business? There were TWO others, one of whom took a CEO position - an obvious move. Apple already has a CEO.
post #4 of 35
Perhaps the new guy can get a store in my country.
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #5 of 35
It's never good to see senior staff bolting; you wonder if the winds are changing, especially with SJ's health issues. I imagine a lot of loyalty is direct to him rather than to Apple as a whole.

Still, nobody really scary leaving yet...
post #6 of 35
No big deal. He was an analyst originally and most likely can do more for the health ed c. than Apple.
post #7 of 35
Maybe it's because iCloud sucks and some heads are going to roll...
post #8 of 35
From Apple in Cupertino to HealthTeacher in Nashville? I guess there must be some upsides
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

From Apple in Cupertino to HealthTeacher in Nashville? I guess there must be some upsides

All I can think is that 4 years working on a major Apple revolution could be some pretty long and exhausting hours! If the chance popped up that was just what he personally wanted, I guess that might be something of a relief. He might not be hurting for money, after all.
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Maybe it's because iCloud sucks and some heads are going to roll...

Or maybe this guy didn't actually have as big an oversight role with iCloud as the wording in the HealthTeacher news release would lead readers to conclude. Was he A senior product manager or THE senior product manager? We don't know where exactly in the hierarchy of the iCloud development team he was positioned. Being involved in MobileMe development hasn't been that much to crow about, and some of the MobileMe screw-ups can't have been a plus for some careers. His iCloud role may have been diminished or he may have been sidelined or even jumped before he was pushed. The release gives us no insight into that. For years I wrote appointment and promotion releases like these - and got to be a real expert at perfuming more than a few pigs. You have to read very carefully how every word turns, and what is not said or generalized along with what is said.

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post #11 of 35
Something is rotting at Apple... how many dozens of high-level executives can we lose in just a few years?

And WHY are they all fleeing Apple?

What do they know that we don't know?

This is not looking good for the long-term.
post #12 of 35
Product Manager to Vice President. Nuff said. He is building his career. Might have family in Nashville.

Probably getting more money. Might already be vested in his Apples.

Can't see him losing on this move.


Probably dozens of Product Managers at Apple. He's stepping up.
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post #13 of 35
I shoulda checked this earlier. HealthTeacher is a curriculum development outfit that really fits the description of a small business. Not to demean the enterprise in the slightest, but this is microscopic compared to Apple.

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post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

Something is rotting at Apple... how many dozens of high-level executives can we lose in just a few years?

And WHY are they all fleeing Apple?

What do they know that we don't know?

This is not looking good for the long-term.

Yes something is happening. It's end of an era. The era of multiple battlefronts. A lot of things which were started many years ago are finally good enough, that senior people can leave and do something else without having to worry that they will be much needed.

As for Serlet, if you followed the keynotes it was quite visible he was slowly eased out in past two years.
post #15 of 35
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post #16 of 35
For crying out loud, this gentleman was a Senior Product Manager and probably one of many at Apple on iCloud. Like someone pointed out earlier, is AI monitoring LinkedIn and reporting every updates for all migration from Apple or what. Next we will see a post for a Senior Software Engineer departing from Apple and I am sure there are thousands of them at Apple.
post #17 of 35
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post #18 of 35
If it wasn't for the timing and the fact that mobile me was a complete failure, this wouldn't even be news.
post #19 of 35
People, many who would probably be considered more significant, have left Apple before. The OS X guy, Andy Rubin to name a few. People move on. If somebody near the top who wasn't expected to leave does, then maybe that's a cause for concern, but I think nagromme had the right idea: Apple's probably a very rigorous job and maybe he'd rather do something that's not so demanding and maybe just something new.
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Fourth time's a charm...

Well, it only takes a few minutes looking at the comments to see how wrong he is, but let me add a few things. Apple is smart in that it's not building proprietary stuff to scale like Google File System. They are relying on other services and software to scale. They did the same with iTunes by using Akamai. And it's generally a good strategy to not rely on inventing such things in-house, as such things age too quickly. I know couple Google engineers who bitch about how old GFS is, hell even some recent employees leaving have stated so even publicly.
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

From Apple in Cupertino to HealthTeacher in Nashville? I guess there must be some upsides

He wants to be a country music singer.
post #22 of 35
If you follow tech news, you will observe this pattern.

An Apple employee leaves, company is doomed, or would be so soon. Or something is wrong or fishy.

Google employee leaves, generally with a blog post detailing why he is leaving Google. Generally in the lines of the company is good for some stuff, but it getting stale and bureaucratic etc. I see one such post every few weeks.
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

If it wasn't for the timing and the fact that mobile me was a complete failure, this wouldn't even be news.

Please - the worst I had with the Mobile.Me migration was some delayed email. Sure, some people had some significant problems and even SJ acknowledged it wasn't their finest hour.

But it was hardly a complete failure
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Please - the worst I had with the Mobile.Me migration was some delayed email. Sure, some people had some significant problems and even SJ acknowledged it wasn't their finest hour.

But it was hardly a complete failure

Agreed. MM fits in much more with the service I want. Unless Apple provides some sort of hosting service for iCloud, I'm not going to be a happy camper.
post #25 of 35
I'll bet a lot of employees (Senior Managers included) have always come and gone..

It just wasn't reported as much.
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

It's never good to see senior staff bolting; you wonder if the winds are changing, especially with SJ's health issues. I imagine a lot of loyalty is direct to him rather than to Apple as a whole.

Still, nobody really scary leaving yet...

This is a very smart observation. Yes, we all believe that below Steve are highly qualified people. But if their inspiration and allegiance is to Steve, and Steve does not return, then Apple's quality can dissipate as the top people leave for other opportunities. that is the real danger.
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post #27 of 35
The Sun traveled over Apple's headquarters today, beginning at around 5:45am in the east and made a full arc over the Cupertino-based company before dipping below the horizon in the east about half past eight.
post #28 of 35
So it appears that HealthTeacher had a business wire press release about some big honcho coming over from Apple to be a VP of Products with them. It seems like HealthTeacher is trying to get some mileage on the story, which is understandable, but it amazing how AI kind of flips the headline a bit differently!

Simply Amazing!
post #29 of 35
What I don't understand is why companies like JC Penny think that hiring someone from Apple with the assumption that they will help give them the same sort of success. I mean Apple makes great products, JC Penny sells a bunch of everything, they don't have a brand that everyone in the world wants like Apple does. Hiring someone form apple won't cause your profits to go up because they don't have what Apple has, great products.
post #30 of 35
Noawadays it seems its has been better to be "from" Apple then "at" Apple
post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

From Apple in Cupertino to HealthTeacher in Nashville? I guess there must be some upsides

Cash in some stock options and live in an inexpensive (beautiful) city like Nashville. Not entirely a bad idea.

iCloud is still a bit questionable, in my eyes, but as a Free Service it could be useful. As a Paid Service, it needs more functionality and the ability to work with my own domain email for me to use it.
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by montefuego View Post

This is a very smart observation. Yes, we all believe that below Steve are highly qualified people. But if their inspiration and allegiance is to Steve, and Steve does not return, then Apple's quality can dissipate as the top people leave for other opportunities. that is the real danger.

The history of companies with strong, charismatic leaders following the departure of that leader is marked by a number who experienced a period of drift, faltering and sometimes near failure or outright failure. There are exceptions, but leadership seems to be both critical and based on the personalities and vision of those individuals - the teams those leaders assemble, and the chemistry of the teams.

A new CEO - whether promoted from within or recruited from without faces a first critical choice - trying to keep the values and directions of the departed chief intact, i.e., cloning what's worked or trusting that they have a vision that's their own, but at least as valid. Both paths have their pitfalls. The first risks a loss of the innovation driving the corporate culture, e.g., while the second inevitably changes the chemistry of the team and generally leads to a series of shakeups and casting about for new directions.

Meanwhile the press, the investing community, the fans, people like us on these forums, competitors, suppliers, ISV's, etc., etc., will have the new management team under under a strong and unforgiving microscope, so the pressure will be intense.

And few companies reflect the personality of their CEO's as much as Apple does Steve's.

Whenever the post-Jobs era happens at Apple, it's gonna be a huge challenge for the company and an effective transition is likely to take years.

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post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

All I can think is that 4 years working on a major Apple revolution could be some pretty long and exhausting hours! If the chance popped up that was just what he personally wanted, I guess that might be something of a relief. He might not be hurting for money, after all.

During the last 4 years that he was with Apple, AAPL stock almost tripled in value.
I doubt he is hurting for money.
post #34 of 35
I don't know of a product manager who would leave his baby prior to launch date - unless he had little confidence that it would succeed. I for one think it will succeed - but my money says he started to shat his pants - a common reaction for a new manager with little experience, who has ownership of something really big.
post #35 of 35
Snr Product Manager in the US is FAR from "Senior" in any sense of the word. He is basically one step above being a graduate hire.

He didn't run the development of iCloud. It sounds like he perhaps "led" the development of PhotoStream - one fairly small element of iCloud. He would have been reporting to a guy who reports to the guy who is running the development of iCloud.

It appears that many folks commenting in this thread have not worked in a multinational corporation.

(Oh, and we used to have a joke about the "Vice-President" title in the US. Basically, the janitor is the Vice President of Sweeping. Title inflation is so rampant is US corporations that terms like Vice President have almost become meaningless. I had friends working in NYC who were VPs but had no direct reports. To have any cred now you need to be either a Snr VP, Executive VP, President etc. Funny but true.)
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