The surprise ousting of Apple CEO Gil Amelio and chief technology officer Ellen Hancock has raised the prospects of the manufacturer being an easy takeover target and of founder Steve Jobs taking charge.
Fred Anderson, chief financial officer at Apple, will take responsibility for the manufacturer until a replacement CEO is found. He said Jobs would take ?an expanded role? on the Apple board, but he did not rule out the possibility that Jobs would take the top slot.
Jobs will be on the search committee to find a replacement. It is understood that he does not want the CEO role, preferring to devote his attentions to his animation company Pixar. It is believed that Jobs used his influence on the board to oust Amelio and undermine his allies.
Mark McGillivray, an analyst at California consultancy H&M Consulting, said: ?Jobs effectively undermined Amelio on the board and made his dissatisfaction with his National Semiconductor colleagues explicit.?
In his resignation note, Amelio highlighted five crises he faced at Apple when he joined in February 1996: a shortage of cash, poor quality products, lack of an OS strategy, poor culture and fragmentation. ?Someone had to take on the task of bringing Apple back to health,? he said, but these problems are ?either resolved or well on the way to being addressed?.
US analysts understand Jobs has been offered the post but turned it down. McGillivray said: ?Why would Jobs want the worst job in the industry, to add to the indignity of presiding over the death of the company he created??
Other candidates tipped for the job include Robert Frankenburg, former CEO of Novell; Ed Zander, a vice president at Sun Microsystems; Craig Mundie, who runs Microsoft?s consumer platforms division; and Carol Bartz, CEO of Autodesk.
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