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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


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.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    I'm guessing this book will not be available on iBooks..
  • Reply 2 of 60
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,584member
    Too soon to read about this stuff for me.
  • Reply 3 of 60
    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...
  • Reply 4 of 60
    mcrcnmcrcn Posts: 27member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 60
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    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?
  • Reply 6 of 60
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 60
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 60
    YES!!! Now this is something I can get behind!!
  • Reply 9 of 60
    He needs a job outside of Apple now. Any interested company?
  • Reply 10 of 60
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 60
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 60
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 60
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 60
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,572member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 60
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 60
    kpomkpom Posts: 616member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 60
    Oh God please no, the guy is spooky looking!
  • Reply 18 of 60
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 60
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 60
    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 ..........
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