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Former exec sues Apple for wrongful termination

updated 05:25 pm EST, Tue March 1, 2005

Former exec sues Apple

Former Apple executive Tim Bucher, who headed Macintosh Hardware Engineering until last fall, is now . reports that the lawsuit, filed last month in Santa Clara County, alleges that Apple terminated him without cause and failed to pay all due compensation, including restricted stock grants and a bonus. The report says that Bucher, who was hired in March of 2003 as president of Macintosh system development, was promoted to Vice President of Macintosh Hardware engineering when Jon Rubenstein was appointed the head of the newly created iPod division. Although he was asked to leave in November 2004, he says that he didn't receive a letter of termination from Apple until January 2005.

In the lawsuit, Bucher says that he was told on November 10th to "go home," as changes were imminent. "Apple Executive Vice President Tim Cook told the plaintiff to go home from his work at Apple and that 'a change is coming' or words to that effect." On the same day, he said that Apple CEO Steve Jobs told him, "You're not a failure. Even God couldn't have done both of the jobs I pushed you to do." Jobs reportedly accused Bucher of being manic-depressive, saying "I'm not sure what I am going to do, but I think I am going to have to ask you to leave the company."

The suit also says that Bucher was terminated, in part, because of a perceived disability, although further details were not available.

"During his nearly two years at Apple, he did an outstanding job for the company and was well-regarded by colleagues on the Macintosh team," said Daniel Pyne, an attorney for San Jose, Calif.-based Hopkins & Carley.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Ganesha

    Joined: Dec 1969


    He's the Lamb...

    So, Steve gave him two jobs, and then says (paraphrasing), they were undoable, but someone has to take the blame, and as head as the hardware division it's going to be you.

  1. Xiaopangzi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sounds familiar to me

    It sounds like a case of miscommunication or misunderstanding. I've been in similar situations, and I interpreted it as being fired without those words being clearly stated. In those cases, no real explanation was given. Of course, that was when I was in my twenties. I would like to think that I would have been firmer in my thirties and insisted on a clarification, yet, I do have to say that even in my most recent case of mutually quitting and being let go at the same time, there were accusations of lack of absolute 'unquestioning' loyalty, which simply were not true. Anyway, I'm still unemployed due to everyone's perception that I am overqualified, and it is leaving me with a starving family.

  1. TheGreatButcher

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Steve screwed up with that manic-depressive comment - that perceived disability suit seems like a sure thing

  1. just a poster

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's a sad state of

    affairs when unemployable losers rise the the level of executive circles.

    How did this clown ever become an exec if he can't get another job in an instant after he is terminated?

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Guess it must be nice to be an executive with contracts or whatever. All the jobs I've had have stated clearly in the offer letter that the job was on a mutual consensus basis (or whatever) and either side could decide to cut off the relationship at any time (i.e. you can get fired or quit at any point).

    Of course, usually to fire someone you need to do 800 hours of paperwork, have several "we have a problem" conferences, get approval from 6 different people, and make sure you only fire white men who are in their 30s (because otherwise it might be considered discriminatory to fire anyone who might be a minority), so who the h*** knows...Steve-would've been easier if you just cut his position and laid him off.

  1. chadpengar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    just killed his future

    At his level, this was a dumb thing to do. Think anyone else is going to hire him as an executive now?

  1. Simon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I don't get it

    Steve's the boss. He gives this guy an impossible job to accomplish. Of course, the guy fails. Then Steve lays off the guy. WTH? I'd guess the boss is the guy that should get replaced since he can't delegate realistic tasks, but instead the guy under him gets kicked. Makes zero sense. No wonder so many companies run like c*** nowadays.

  1. iChick

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Apple doesn't necessarily have a stellar HR history and/or reputation in their employee dealings.

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