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iOS chief Scott Forstall called Apple's 'CEO-in-waiting'

post #1 of 61
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Though Apple just went through a major regime change in 2011, a new book declares that the company's senior vice president of iOS Software, Scott Forstall, is its "CEO-in-waiting."

That title was bestowed on Forstall by author Adam Lashinsky of Fortune, whose new book, goes on sale Jan. 25. The book says Forstall is "the total package" and is most likely to lead Apple once its current CEO, Tim Cook, moves on, according to Apple 2.0.

The book argues that it is Forstall who most closely resembles late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, making him the most obvious candidate to eventually succeed him.

That same characterization came in a report from BusinessWeek issued last October, in which Forstall was called a "maddeningly political" mini-Steve Jobs. It claimed that though Forstall is brilliant at identifying what he wants and how to get it, he can also be difficult to work with, and has allegedly prompted the departure of several high-ranking Apple executives over the years.

Lashinsky's book comes to largely the same conclusions, claiming that he "blatantly accumulated influence in recent years," including while Jobs was on medical leave through most of 2011. The book suggests that Forstall "wears his ambition in plainer view than the typical Apple executive."



"Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired -- and Secretive -- Company Really Works" is available for preorder from Amazon , as well as a digital and an unabridged . Unlike last year's "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson, "Inside Apple" was not written with the cooperation of Jobs or anyone at Apple. It promises to look at Apple from a business perspective.
post #2 of 61
I'm guessing this book will not be available on iBooks..
post #3 of 61
Too soon to read about this stuff for me.
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #4 of 61
Yeah, the hundreds and hundreds of millions (potentially BILLIONS) of dollars the Apple board just gave Tim Cook to stick around for TEN YEARS was just for show.

This is idiotic...
post #5 of 61
Tim Cook basically has a 10-year deal on the table, so Scott has a long time to wait. Anything could happen between now and then.
post #6 of 61
Is this Adam Lashinsky's opinion or based on info he got while writing this book? The profile done on Forstall a while back (I believe it was from Fortune mag) claimed Forstall was very political and execs like Mansfield and Ive would only deal with him in the presence of CEO Cook. Who knows I'd that's true or not. Tim Cook is young and does his job very well. There's obviously a reason Jobs groomed him to take over. I'd be curious to know how involved Forstall is in the operational side of the business. It was Cook who turned Apple into an operational powerhouse able to crank out millions of macs and idevices to meet consumer demand.

Since there was no cooperation from Apple and former employees are notoriously tight lipped about their time at Apple I wonder how accurate this book can be?
post #7 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobringer View Post

Yeah, the hundreds and hundreds of millions (potentially BILLIONS) of dollars the Apple board just gave Tim Cook to stick around for TEN YEARS was just for show.

This is idiotic...

exactly. Tim is young. He's not going anywhere. What exactly about Forstall makes him CEO material over any one of the other executives? Eddy Cue and Jony Ive are 20+ year veterans and Schiller's been just as much of a front man as Forstall has.
post #8 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by McRCN View Post

Tim Cook basically has a 10-year deal on the table, so Scott has a long time to wait. Anything could happen between now and then.

Only if Scot Forstall can work with Jony Ive is there any possibility of this being true.
post #9 of 61
YES!!! Now this is something I can get behind!!
post #10 of 61
He needs a job outside of Apple now. Any interested company?
post #11 of 61
If the profile I read about Scott is any where near accurate I see two ways this is likely to go.

1. He grows, matures and learns how to get the job done without constantly leaving a trail of bodies and scorched earth (except when actually necessary). A side effect of this maturing is that managers like this can develop a great strategic vision and figure out how to move a company and its employees in that direction.

2. His ambitions get the best of him and everyone who does a capable job is targeted and treated as the enemy. Eventually enough top talent is chased away and Cook will either have to neuter him or force him out.

It looks like Tim has a good reason to stick in the top job for the next 10 years and that is a long time for an ambitious, driven person like Scott to wait. Imho I say in 3-5 years we will know if Scott is destined for the top spot but it's way to soon to tell.
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Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
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post #12 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charel View Post

Only if Scot Forstall can work with Jony Ive is there any possibility of this being true.

somehow I can't see Ive ever reporting to Forstall. I'm still not sure what makes him better CEO material than any of the others.
post #13 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

exactly. Tim is young. He's not going anywhere. What exactly about Forstall makes him CEO material over any one of the other executives? Eddy Cue and Jony Ive are 20+ year veterans and Schiller's been just as much of a front man as Forstall has.

I agree with all this.

I can believe that Forstall wants to be CEO. I can believe that, under some conceivable circumstances, it might happen. But to believe it will happen, that it's just a question of waiting for some inevitable shakeup ... I just can't get there in my head.

There's every reason to think Tim Cook has the full confidence and support of the Board of Directors. That big, long-term compensation package is surely indicative of this -- but a more conclusive factor is how well he runs the company, and I've seen no evidence to suggest that he's screwing up in any way. Quite the contrary, in fact.

Maybe in the world of tech punditry, it's hard to accept or even conceive that such a dynamic and unpredictable company as Apple could possibly be run by anyone OTHER than a charismatic, often combative, highly opinionated and colorful personality. The notion of Apple as we know it under the leadership of a steady and soft-spoken Southern gentleman just makes no sense. But I suspect that from inside the company it makes all the sense in the world.

Apple is full of brilliant, well-paid, headstrong and colorful personalities. And now it has at its center a calm, focused, workaholic managerial genius. I can't find here any recipe for a near-term top-down shakeup.
post #14 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

I'm guessing this book will not be available on iBooks..

Why wouldn't it be available on iBooks? Is it because you think Apple would censor this book because of content it might not agree with?

FYI, it is available for pre-order on iBooks.
post #15 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobringer View Post

Yeah, the hundreds and hundreds of millions (potentially BILLIONS) of dollars the Apple board just gave Tim Cook to stick around for TEN YEARS was just for show.

This is idiotic...

Not necessarily. The grant shows stability in management, and focuses the company on execution for right now-- arguably an easier path than setting new direction in innovation. Forstall will grow in the ranks and responsibilities, maybe get a board position, and eventually take over. Nothing lost with Cook's grant other than insurance for intermediate-term stability.
post #16 of 61
I'm not sure if he would like being CEO. My impression has been that he likes to be in control of all the details of a product. I think that he would lose that as CEO. I think he prefers to be in charge of Apples most successful product instead. Besides, Tim Cook makes a good CEO. I don't see that changing anytime soon.
post #17 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by McRCN View Post

Tim Cook basically has a 10-year deal on the table, so Scott has a long time to wait. Anything could happen between now and then.

If the company stumbles between now and 2022, there could be an opening for Forstall. If not, then if his personality is as described, I wouldn't be surprised if he winds up elsewhere eventually.
post #18 of 61
Oh God please no, the guy is spooky looking!
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post #19 of 61
According to Lashinky Forstall apparently wears this ambition on his sleeve. http://9to5mac.com/2012/01/17/adam-l...g/#more-132273

In Isaacson's book Steve called Jony Ive his spiritual partner. But as close as they were you never got the feeling Ive was trying to be a mini Steve. I do see that in some ways with Forstall. Dressing the same, driving the same car...a bit creepy if you ask me.
post #20 of 61
What ? CEO ? Seriously ?

The guy has no charisma and ruins Apple's presentation each time!! He only invites people showing stupid game demos... talk about a CEO... rather a PR, nothing more.
post #21 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzpolice View Post

I agree with all this.

I can believe that Forstall wants to be CEO. I can believe that, under some conceivable circumstances, it might happen. But to believe it will happen, that it's just a question of waiting for some inevitable shakeup ... I just can't get there in my head.

There's every reason to think Tim Cook has the full confidence and support of the Board of Directors. That big, long-term compensation package is surely indicative of this -- but a more conclusive factor is how well he runs the company, and I've seen no evidence to suggest that he's screwing up in any way. Quite the contrary, in fact.

Maybe in the world of tech punditry, it's hard to accept or even conceive that such a dynamic and unpredictable company as Apple could possibly be run by anyone OTHER than a charismatic, often combative, highly opinionated and colorful personality. The notion of Apple as we know it under the leadership of a steady and soft-spoken Southern gentleman just makes no sense. But I suspect that from inside the company it makes all the sense in the world.

Apple is full of brilliant, well-paid, headstrong and colorful personalities. And now it has at its center a calm, focused, workaholic managerial genius. I can't find here any recipe for a near-term top-down shakeup.

Back when this question was first discussed, and while we hoped that Steve Jobs would be around for a while longer, I spent some time thinking about which member of the current "team" was the best replacement. I came to the conclusion that, on a "like-for-like" basis, Forstall was the nearest equivalent to Steve Jobs, i.e. the guy with vision that could carry the company foreword.

But when Steve Jobs died last year was not the time for "the guy with vision". Apple already has a few year's worth of Steve Jobs' vision to work through, and they don't need a new guy disrupting that now. They may need it in a few years' time, as Steve Jobs' vision gets worked through.

In the meanwhile, we will see how things at Apple will work out, with Tim in charge, Sir Jony Ive as designer and the others. I have no doubt that Ive could have taken over the company if he had wanted to, but as a designer myself, I can understand why he would not want to. When he retired, Steve Jobs referred to "a succession plan", not just "a succession", so it may well have had a timeline.

Over time, Apple will work on implementing and delivering the products that Steve Jobs has already contributed to, and eventually will need some newer vision. By that stage, we will see how well the current leaders work together. If all goes well, Cook will have lead Apple to deliver great new products, Ive will have lead Apple to deliver great new designs, but they may both be unsure of the best directions to lead the company towards. If they still trust Forstall then, that might be the time for the next vision guy to come up with direction ..........
post #22 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuillaumeB View Post

What ? CEO ? Seriously ?

The guy has no charisma and ruins Apple's presentation each time!! He only invites people showing stupid game demos... talk about a CEO... rather a PR, nothing more.

Well done, totally agree!
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post #23 of 61
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Originally Posted by Tardis View Post

Back when this question was first discussed, and while we hoped that Steve Jobs would be around for a while longer, I spent some time thinking about which member of the current "team" was the best replacement. I came to the conclusion that, on a "like-for-like" basis, Forstall was the nearest equivalent to Steve Jobs, i.e. the guy with vision that could carry the company foreword.

But when Steve Jobs died last year was not the time for "the guy with vision". Apple already has a few year's worth of Steve Jobs' vision to work through, and they don't need a new guy disrupting that now. They may need it in a few years' time, as Steve Jobs' vision gets worked through.

In the meanwhile, we will see how things at Apple will work out, with Tim in charge, Sir Jony Ive as designer and the others. I have no doubt that Ive could have taken over the company if he had wanted to, but as a designer myself, I can understand why he would not want to. When he retired, Steve Jobs referred to "a succession plan", not just "a succession", so it may well have had a timeline.

Over time, Apple will work on implementing and delivering the products that Steve Jobs has already contributed to, and eventually will need some newer vision. By that stage, we will see how well the current leaders work together. If all goes well, Cook will have lead Apple to deliver great new products, Ive will have lead Apple to deliver great new designs, but they may both be unsure of the best directions to lead the company towards. If they still trust Forstall then, that might be the time for the next vision guy to come up with direction ..........

Doesn't it seem way to early to be talking about CEO in waiting? I wonder if this isn't just for book sales. Just because Cook isn't this flashy personality and maybe isn't the best presenter doesn't mean he's just a bean counter with no vision for the future.
post #24 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

exactly. Tim is young. He's not going anywhere.

Oh and Steve Jobs was old?! Just saying, youth has nothing to do with what may happen to you, be it health or some other opportunity-wise...

Now is Scott CEO material versus others at Apple or outside of Apple, that is another question I am not going to even try to debate the merits.

But as I said..., and Steve Jobs was old?!
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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #25 of 61
I don't know the guy personally, but from what was presented in the article - he is political and doesn't get along with Ive and leaves a trail of destruction behind him - he sounds like a volatile personality.

My gut reaction from watching keynotes is he's probably a software genius and best left in a position where he can guide iOS to greater heights.

Not often does someone have multiple gifts. Nerds don't often make great CEOs. Vision is important. But so is the recognition of who your A players are. Steve Jobs and Ive got along famously because Steve loves and nurtures brilliance. It's a good CEO trait to have.
post #26 of 61
This is so far ahead of the curve, that it is silly. It does not bode well that the book makes such a prediction.

This guy seems to assume a little pre-Apple experience and face time on Apple events translates into the management skills to operate a soon to be $500B+ business that sells hardware. How much hardware experience and supply chain experience does he have or conversely does he need?

Does this mean he won't or couldn't be next CEO no, but it sure isn't foregone conclusion. Again this is not a ding on Scott, but the author is leaping far ahead of data and I suspect the board as well.
post #27 of 61
Forstall is the nearest to Jobs, who none of you would like either if he came up through the ranks ( the number of bridges burned there would be immense). On the way up you burn bridges, at the top you repair them.

I think he is a perfectionist when it comes to the software design, at least, and thats a Good Thing. Tim is a operations guy, and probably is not ever going to drop an iPod in water, see bubbles and say to the engineers and designers that there was still room to add more internals. Ive didnt do that, because it took Jobs to say it.

( thats from the book).

Forstall might, however. Or the software equivalent.
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post #28 of 61
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Originally Posted by Manictosh View Post

Why wouldn't it be available on iBooks? Is it because you think Apple would censor this book because of content it might not agree with?

FYI, it is available for pre-order on iBooks.

The Second Coming isn't available, despite having been a huge seller. Yes, Apple does censor based on content.
post #29 of 61
This Forstall "thing" was raised a few months ago. He should be a keeper. The question is how, given Cook is there for a while.

Perhaps, Forstall should take over as the main man at the show-n-tells. The fact is that he is the best presenter of the entire executive team - true technical knowledge plus confidence, and oozing with passion on stage. Neither Cook nor Schiller can match Forstall's knowledge or passion because they don't actually develop or design the products. Ive can't do it because he has never demonstrated any grasp of software (or even how the products are used?).
post #30 of 61
Apple does not want or need an imitation of Steve Jobs for its CEO. The Board has quite wisely made its decision by choosing a very low key, coldly rational and brilliant business strategist, Tim Cook, to lead the Company for the next ten years. The last thing the Company needs at this point is a CEO with a big ego to disrupt what is clearly a very talented and well functioning executive team.
post #31 of 61
Quote:

Nice shirt.

Steve was such a one-of-a-kind leader that the leadership model he lefta calm organizer on top supervising a team of mercurial A playersis probably the best for Apple. Somebody trying to out-Steve Steve would lead to a disaster.
post #32 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

The Second Coming isn't available, despite having been a huge seller. Yes, Apple does censor based on content.

Do you have a proof that Apple refused to sell it in iBookstore?

Isn't available does not mean Apple refuses to sell it.
post #33 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Do you have a proof that Apple refused to sell it in iBookstore?

Isn't available does not mean Apple refuses to sell it.

Apparently, it's available now. But if I recall correctly, I remember Jobs commenting and saying it would never be available through Apple.
post #34 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by cws View Post

Apple does not want or need an imitation of Steve Jobs for its CEO. The Board has quite wisely made its decision by choosing a very low key, coldly rational and brilliant business strategist, Tim Cook, to lead the Company for the next ten years. The last thing the Company needs at this point is a CEO with a big ego to disrupt what is clearly a very talented and well functioning executive team.

Forstall is a true computer science. That alone does not make him an imitation of Jobs. This talk about him aping Jobs is pure punditry and not worth any attention. Nothing wrong with Forstall and anyone else vying for the top job. After all, a true product visionary is a good thing and Cook ain't that person, as he'd be the first to admit. Forstall may well be the only qualified individual on the executive team for that mantle.
post #35 of 61
I'd love to see Jony Ive as the Jobs-esque CEO of Apple.
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #36 of 61
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Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

After all, a true product visionary is a good thing and Cook ain't that person, as he'd be the first to admit. Forstall may well be the only qualified individual on the executive team for that mantle.

What exactly are you basing that on? What makes him a 'true product visionary' over say, Cue, Schiller or Ive? I think they all contribute to it in different ways. Steve told Walter Isaacson that Ive understood Apple at its core better than anyone.

I don't think Tim Cook needs to be a product visionary. If Steve felt that was necessary he would have groomed someone else to be CEO. I think it would be a mistake to groom someone to be like Steve. There will never be another Steve. Anyway Tim Cook probably isn't going anywhere for a long while so it seems silly for Lashinsky (or anyone else) to speculate on the next CEO.
post #37 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuillaumeB View Post

What ? CEO ? Seriously ?

The guy has no charisma and ruins Apple's presentation each time!! He only invites people showing stupid game demos... talk about a CEO... rather a PR, nothing more.

Ex-fucking-cuse me? As much as this rumor is bogus, you're saying a lot of shit.

Scott ALWAYS talks in detail about the upcoming iOS release. He's actually the most useful talker now that Steve is gone. He is delighted to talk about the platform, unlike Schiller who just goofs around trying to pull jokes no one likes or the "iDon't Give A Damn About This Announcement" vibe of Cook.

And what's up with "stupid game demos"? Because of how Apple loves a smooth UI, GPUs are a priority in new iPhone hardware, hence the iPhone 4S being literally TWICE as powerful graphically as the "oh-so-awesome" Galaxy Nexus, while losing on the CPU side by 12%

And the best way to leverage that GPU power and show at a product announcement something that your competitors can only DREAM of doing? Games. Hence the Infinity Blade 2 demo.

Clueless...

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iPhone 4S 64GB, Black, soon to be sold in favor of a Nokia Lumia 920
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post #38 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yours Smugly View Post

Nice shirt.

Steve was such a one-of-a-kind leader that the leadership model he lefta calm organizer on top supervising a team of mercurial A playersis probably the best for Apple. Somebody trying to out-Steve Steve would lead to a disaster.

That's why Cook is perfect for the job. He probably will allow others to do most of the presentations, but there's more to being CEO than giving good keynotes.
post #39 of 61
All Lashinsky did was flesh out a bunch of speculation he published in past Fortune articles. He ran around to a bunch of pundits and former Apple employees (note - not executives for example). Considering its all speculation and largely bottom-up views (which are seldom revealing at the executive level anyway) with which he pads his original thesis, this is designed to coattail on Isaacson's work, and take advantage of the impact of Jobs death. he has fished as many sources as he can - re-dressing and padding out his "Inside Apple" Fortune feature story.

This apparently is his first book, and having read his articles, I'm betting heavily that I already know 99% of the content already. That he targets Forstall is because Forstall has some controversy attached to his reputation. That sells books.
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If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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post #40 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by cws View Post

Apple does not want or need an imitation of Steve Jobs for its CEO. The Board has quite wisely made its decision by choosing a very low key, coldly rational and brilliant business strategist, Tim Cook, to lead the Company for the next ten years. The last thing the Company needs at this point is a CEO with a big ego to disrupt what is clearly a very talented and well functioning executive team.

You mean the Board wisely picked Jobs hand picked replacement?
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