Sculley: It was a "big mistake" I was ever hired as Apple's CEO

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  • Reply 41 of 135
    Sculley's second biggest mistake was to authorize Microsoft to copy the Mac interface!



    High Fructose Corn Syrup cannot be interchanged with the word sugar. If you find a soft-drink that says sugar in the list of ingredients, it means it has sugar and not Corn Syrup.
  • Reply 42 of 135
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Sculley was recruited from his role as President of Pepsi to join Apple as CEO in 1983. During his tenure, he grew Apple's sales from $800 million to $8 billion, but also garnered criticism for his role in several controversial decisions, including the ousting of Jobs in 1985 and the transition of the Mac to the PowerPC platform.



    The move to the PowerPC was controversial? Only in hindsight. Did people expect them to stay with the 68xxx series?

    I'd say the biggest controversy (catastrophe) was the naive and suicidal agreement to license technology to Microsoft.
  • Reply 43 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Former Apple CEO John Sculley, famous for helping force Steve Jobs from the company he co-founded in 1985, admitted in an interview that his hiring as CEO was a "big mistake" and that Jobs should have been given the job instead.





    Jobs is apparently "still mad he got pushed out," according to an email Sculley sent Kahney prior to the interview, but Sculley has moved on. "My Apple experience is now ancient history and I have gone on with my life and I?m not looking for any publicity or have any ax to grind,? he said.



    Yeah he was a moron then and still is one. Even Pepsi did badly under him.
  • Reply 44 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post


    Now this is the kind of guy Microsoft needs to replace Ballmer with if they don't want to continue their slow but inexorable slide into irrelevancy.



    Someone who admittedly knows nothing about computers? A specialist in marketing to the masses? As if MS lacks that? Just asking.
  • Reply 45 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jdsonice View Post


    Yeah he was a moron then and still is one. Even Pepsi did badly under him.



    god was he ever. he was nuts about tablets. he thought tablets, not computers per se, were the future. ha ha. what a dumbass....oh...wait...
  • Reply 46 of 135
    ihxoihxo Posts: 563member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post


    I've not read the interview, but the AI summary suggests Sculley attributes all of the "design ideas"--presumably even the Newton--to Jobs. Folklore has it that the Newton was Sculley's baby, though. The Newton was one of the first projects to get the axe upon Jobs' return. If it wasn't Sculley's idea, I could understand it would stick in his craw.



    From what I read back then, Newton is at least something Sculley really love. He may or may not have any input on it.
  • Reply 47 of 135
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,516member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    Sculley's second biggest mistake was to authorize Microsoft to copy the Mac interface!



    High Fructose Corn Syrup cannot be interchanged with the word sugar. If you find a soft-drink that says sugar in the list of ingredients, it means it has sugar and not Corn Syrup.



    Perhaps so, but since Steve was slinging a phrase like "sugar water" in a sardonic statement, I think that the fact that fructose IS technically one of the "sugars" is reason enough to allow him that artistic license. In other words, his characterization of soda as "sugar water" seems remarkably appropriate to me.



    Suppose someone made a movie out of those early Apple days, and the famous "sugar water" scene was in it. Suppose further that there was another character involved in the conversation, and he said, "well, technically, Steve, Pepsi uses corn syrup rather than sugar." It seems like both Jobs and Sculley would pause to look at the guy with mouth agape that he would interrupt a profound moment with such a pedantic comment... and then get right back to the conversation.





    Thompson
  • Reply 48 of 135
    kpluckkpluck Posts: 500member
    The Steve Jobs that left Apple was not the same person as the Steve Jobs that returned and is now running Apple.



    While hiring Sculley was a mistake, it is beyond foolish to think if they had given the position to Steve Jobs back then that he would have been as successful as he has been since his return.



    -kpluck
  • Reply 49 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    Steve was WRONG. Pepsi is made with high fructose corn syrup, not sugar.



    It depends on where the drink is being bottled. Sugar is used in many countries for Pepsi and Coke products. It is the reason that many people prefer the drinks bottled in South America rather than in the US.
  • Reply 50 of 135
    rp2011rp2011 Posts: 159member
    It's clear Sculley is suffering from depression.
  • Reply 51 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post


    The move to the PowerPC was controversial? Only in hindsight. Did people expect them to stay with the 68xxx series?

    I'd say the biggest controversy (catastrophe) was the naive and suicidal agreement to license technology to Microsoft.



    i don't know. what if they had won the lawsuit? then they would have had their asses handed to them by xerox.
  • Reply 52 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alandail View Post


    The article is a bit misleading, Steve Jobs is the one who recruited Sculley and convinced him to leave Pepsi and join apple. "Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or do you want to change the world."



    The article is correct.



    Quote:

    Growing Apple with the Macintosh: The Sculley Years



    Courted by Apple



    Sculley had tried to use an Apple II in the office, but he was bewildered by the complexity of the machine, so it lay unused. Still, he was interested in high technology. As a child, he had created a color screen only weeks after Sony patented the Trinitron display.



    In 1982, Sculley was contacted by a headhunter named Ed Winguth, who tried to recruit Sculley to become the next CEO of Apple Computer. Sculley was contacted by several headhunters every week and always declined.



    For a while, Apple's top pick was Don Estridge, who had headed the Chess project that resulted in the IBM PC. Despite an offer 400% higher than his salary at IBM, Estridge refused, saying that he was loyal to IBM.



    Winguth also contacted Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, the former head of the NSA, who refused because he had no experience in marketing.



    Acting Apple CEO and cofounder, Mike Markkula, decided that Apple was actually a consumer company and needed a CEO with experience in marketing rather than technology. A new firm was brought in, Heidrick and Struggles, which created a brand new list of candidates, with Sculley towards the top.



    After the chairman of AT&T and top marketing executives at IBM turned down Heidrick's representative, Gerry Roche, he contacted Sculley and arranged a meeting with Apple in Cupertino after Sculley returned from a sales meeting in Maui. Sculley was still not terribly interested and had intended to tell the Apple reps he was not interested.



    Sculley arrived in Cupertino and was surprised to be greeted by the biggest name in technology, Steve Jobs. Instead of dull talks on compensation and responsibilities, Jobs gave Sculley a tour of Apple culminating in a demonstration of the Macintosh.



    Sculley was floored by the interface and amused by a demonstration program that the Macintosh engineers had put together that showed Pepsi bottle caps bouncing across the screen. Impressed and intrigued, Sculley agreed to meet with Jobs in New York City for a tour of the city, since Jobs was buying a condo in Manhattan.



    Jobs met Sculley in early January 1983. Markkula was itching to go back into retirement, so Jobs launched a charm offensive against Sculley. The pair toured New York, visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, and the Lincoln Center while they discussed the future of the computer industry.



    Finally, Jobs invited Sculley to his penthouse condo overlooking Manhattan and famously asked him, "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?"



    Sculley, by now infatuated with Jobs, accepted and got approval from Kendall to leave Pepsi for Apple. A few days before the Apple shareholder's meeting on January 19, Jobs returned to New York with a cadre of Apple employees including Markkula.



    After a day of demonstrations of the Lisa for reporters, Sculley took the group to dinner in the opulent Four Seasons' Pool Room, where they discussed Apple strategy and his career at Pepsi. The evening climaxed with a monologue delivered by Sculley on how Generation X could become the "Apple Generation".



    Markkula approved Jobs' choice, and they agreed upon an unheard of salary of $2.3 million (including bonuses and a housing allowance). The new appointment was approved by Apple's board, and Markkula announced it during an executive meeting on April 8 in the Bandley 8 building. Later that day, Pepsi and Apple put out press releases announcing the change.



    http://lowendmac.com/orchard/06/john...ars-apple.html



  • Reply 53 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by screamingfist View Post


    god was he ever. he was nuts about tablets. he thought tablets, not computers per se, were the future. ha ha. what a dumbass....oh...wait...



    Funny. Good point.



    But that brings up an interesting conundrum. If you have a great idea ahead of its time, is it really such a good idea business-wise? I wonder too, what if Sculley had brought out a decently designed tablet computer based on the technology available at the time? Would it have been the kind of success the iPad is? One could ponder the Newton (I had one) the same way. Was it a good idea that was ahead of the development of some of the key technologies that made the iPhone such a hit?



    What I am suggesting is that being a visionary involves more than just ideas, it also involves timing.
  • Reply 54 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kpluck View Post


    While hiring Sculley was a mistake, it is beyond foolish to think if they had given the position to Steve Jobs back then that he would have been as successful as he has been since his return.



    I don't know that it's beyond foolish to think that. It's just an open question to ponder that no one will ever know the answer to. You can make a good argument that his experience at Pixar and NeXT made him the man he was to succeed so astonishingly at Apple, but he may have found other ways to grow and learn had he stayed at Apple. The possible courses of our lives are infinitely variable and it seems foolish to imagine that you can know the outcome of a hypothetical with certainty.
  • Reply 55 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post


    I think Sculley has been fairly candid about this for quite some time, actually. And more credit to him for that.



    However, if Jobs really still does have an axe to grind about this business, he needs to take a deep breath and do some honest, detached introspection. Because if he had NOT been fired at Apple:



    1) He never would have bought, and nurtured, Pixar. (Think about the vast ramifications of THAT!)



    2) He would never have cranked up NeXt, which means he would not have had the freedom to start a whole new OS from the ground-up, with no concern for supporting legacy systems. (NeXt, of course, eventually morphed into OSX, which eventually evolved into iOS. What happens if THAT doesn't happen?)



    3) Possibly most important of all: If Apple had not come within a hairsbreath of death, Jobs would never have had the freedom to radically restructure the company the way he did.



    In other words, Stevearino... it's all part of the plan. So stop scheming, already. You can't control what's past, and it's a good thing, too. Let go, and be grateful things happened exactly the way they did!



    Both MisterSnitch and airmanchairman are on the money. Things turned out the way they did precisely BECAUSE Sculley was hired and Steve was fired. Look at the timeline...if it had been any different, Apple would not be where it is today.
  • Reply 56 of 135
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member
    Wow. I had forgotten that Scully was already CEO by the time the "1984" ad was aired.
  • Reply 57 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by karmadave View Post


    Hindsight is 20/20. I worked at Apple from '87 to '92. John Scully was generally well liked for his marketing skills and calm temperament. He lacked technical vision, and relied on John Luis Gasse' who turned out to be quite an ego-maniac. As I recall, Scully left (was pushed out) around '90-'91 and Michael Spindler was elevated from COO to CEO. Spindler was a disaster! I can't really comment on whether hiring Scully or firing Jobs was the right thing to do. Things were much more fluid, in those days, and Apple was riding high until Microsoft launched Windows 3.x. It was pretty much downhill afterwords, until Apple acquired NeXT and Jobs returned to Apple. My own opinion is that things happen for a reason and Apple would not be the company it is today without the miscues...



    Thanks for the insights. Quite right, you can't rewind history and play it over to discover a different outcome. Would Apple have been a better or more influential company if Steve had not had his walk in the wilderness? What happened is what happened, and it makes for such a remarkable story that it's almost impossible to even imagine another scenario that would be half as interesting.
  • Reply 58 of 135
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,516member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frankmv View Post


    Both MisterSnitch and airmanchairman are on the money. Things turned out the way they did precisely BECAUSE Sculley was hired and Steve was fired. Look at the timeline...if it had been any different, Apple would not be where it is today.



    And Steve said so himself in 2005. Follow this link...



    http://www.greatest-inspirational-qu...nt-speech.html



    A great video.



    Thompson
  • Reply 59 of 135
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    Sculley's second biggest mistake was to authorize Microsoft to copy the Mac interface! ...



    And now Apple will use that against them. Mac OS X 10.7 will probably contain a sprinkling of iOS multi-touch features. And it will pave the way for Mac OS 11 (or maybe it will simply be called "iOS 6 for Mac") will probably be a hybrid of Mac OS X legacy GUI features and iOS features. There could be a "Pro" version with familiar mouse/keyboard interface and a consumer version with multi-touch on touchscreens.



    And it would take Microsoft 10 years to copy it. If they wanted to, that is. They've locked in the corporate IT groups of the world, but that forces Microsoft into the hell of backward compatibility. They wouldn't dare "do another Vista" by tweaking their GUI to copy Apple and breaking compatibility with existing applications. And even if they didn't break anything, it would cost too much to re-train all those admins and Office users on the new interface.



    Apple pulls customers in with innovative features, slick integration of hardware + software, and ease-of-use. And they are experts at transitions. 68k to PowerPC. PowerPC to Intel. Intel to ARM-variant. Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X. Mac OS X to iOS. They are masters at bringing developers and corporations over to their new hardware and software technologies. They have done this repeatedly, when their very survival depended on it. And now they do it to innovate faster than any competitor can keep up.



    Microsoft pushes updates on customers whether they need them or not. Huge difference, and this will cost Microsoft in the long run. Eventually corporate customers will push back even harder than they did against Vista. Windows 7 will be "good enough" for the next 10 years, the way XP was. Bad for Microsoft's bottom line and stock valuation. And we've seen how well Microsoft transitions from one major OS version to another. Windows Mobile 6.x is stone dead. No upgrade path to Windows Phone 7, which will have few apps on launch. Microsoft is desperately throwing money at developers to bring them to the platform. That's an extremely poor way to transition to a new OS.



    Microsoft ships software, but they're not in the "software business." They're in the Windows + Office business, they know it, and the rest of the world knows it. Ballmer's failure in everything but Windows + Office for enterprise guarantees that Microsoft will shut down innovation and milk their existing customer base for all they can. That's how technology companies die.
  • Reply 60 of 135
    Perfect example: I don't know why CEO's are held in such great esteem....most of them are Sculley's!





    90%+ businesses go out of business once the original owner dies and the company is past to a "CEO!"



    Walmart, Ford, Coke, McDonald's are exceptions, not the rule!



    The Henry Ford's and Steve Jobs' of this world are rarities...most CEO's are going for short term goals to make themselves wealthy and not working for the best interests of the companies they work for.



    Sculley was out of his depth from day one!



    Nice that he admits it, I guess!
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