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Jobs no longer micromanaging Apple, analyst reveals

updated 04:55 pm EDT, Tue August 2, 2011

Executive concentrating on 'big-picture issues'

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has stopped his trademark micromanagement, at least temporarily, says Creative Strategies' Tim Bajarin. The analyst is in regular communication with upper management at Apple, and claims to have learned Jobs' present work habits indirectly. "They tell me he calls in regularly," according to Bajarin. "He talks to Tim [Cook], he talks to the top guys, he talks about the Apple stores. But while he used to micromanage everything in ways that most CEOs would not, right down to issues with the company cafeteria, the big change with his latest leave is that there's less micromanagement and more management of his executive team and the big-picture issues."

Jobs is currently on this third medical leave from Apple, which began in January. The executive is infamous for tightly controlling every aspect of Apple products, to the extent of being credited in a number of US patents. Analysts and investors have worried that should Apple lose Jobs as CEO, the company will also lose the direction that has made it one of the world's richest corporations.

The state of Jobs' health is unknown, as neither he nor Apple have released any details. The current leave is his longest ever though, trumping his second, during which he received a liver transplant. At the time Apple drew fire for keeping Jobs' condition secret; rather than admitting any connection to complications from pancreatic cancer, the leave was initially claimed to be related to a hormone imbalance.

by MacNN Staff





  1. panjandrum

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Maybe this explains some of the disastrous UI design decisions in Lion? If that is the case; if this is what we get as soon as Jobs stops micromanaging, then I'm worried about the future of Apple. I really thought Jobs had good people lined up to take over, but Lion roars otherwise loud and clear. (I don't mean fundamental underlying stability problems, I'm talking specifically about the UI here. Take two decisions: the decision to make the interface more difficult to read with more grey elements, and the decision to use smaller buttons. We have an aging population trying to use increasingly high-resolution screens without having to run their monitors at a blurry non-native resolution. That is the type of seemingly minor decision that can have considerable impact on a significant portion of the population. Those UI changes should have never slipped through the cracks of any company who cares about their consumer experience.)

  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No doubt left...

    Jobs is on his way out. I don't understand why this a feared scenario. Let's face it, the reason Jobs is less involved is because his health is failing. Why else would he finally authorize a biography after all these years? Apple will be just fine, no matter what uninformed commenters (like panjandrum) say about it.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. imNat-imadouche

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple won't be fine

    without Jobs. That's why Apple is suing left right and centre. The innovation is slowing down with Jobs being taken out of the picture. Apple will now have to face competition.

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Without Jobs

    Panjandrum said: "Maybe this explains some of the disastrous UI design decisions in Lion? If that is the case; if this is what we get as soon as Jobs stops micromanaging, then I'm worried about the future of Apple."

    He could be right. Perhaps I've been too hard on Jobs for recent moves at Apple including the in-app policy fiasco and the UI blunders in Lion. At one job, I have to use Windows 7, and it's come to me that a lot of my gripes with Win-7 are similar to my gripes with Lion, specifically:

    1. Attempts to make the file system more difficult to use. In Win-7, it's invisible. In Lion, an effort is clearly underway to make the file system so cluttered (or hidden), it's impossible to use. The most obvious illustration is forcing more and more apps into the root Application folder. It'd be more in keeping with the 'old' and talented Apple to create a standard set of subfolders and require apps to specify to OS X, which they go in so they could be auto-installed.

    2. Attempts to graft a touch-UI onto a keyboard/mouse/trackpad one. My gripes with WIn-7 finally made sense when I realized that, while the UI was awful, the poor pull-down menus, the excessive use of tabs and the scattered icons would actually work tolerable well with a touch screen. The problem is, of course, that almost no one has or wants a desktop or laptop with a touch screen.

    Along those lines, Lion's similar blunders, particularly the excessive use of icons, reflects an Apple that is so lacking in confidence it thinks it needs to copy Win-7. Bad move.

    And an even worse move is trying to force a touchscreen UI on to devices that do not and never will use touch screens. That makes as much sense as putting a tiller into cars so they steer like small sailboats. Consistency really is the hobgoblin of little minds.

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Let's all just hope...

    Another Big Ego, Smart Mouth, yet very talented megalomaniac -
    - comes to the rescue of the desktop.

    Tablets are all nice and fun to play with, but we need to work PERIOD.
    All the previous negatives relative to Lion & 7 stand evident, and show tremendous UI neglect. A couple more examples here from the PC platform:

    1. Used to be you could just right button click on the Windows task-bar and a popup menu with program choices would appear. The principle still works but now instead of program choices like "Task Manager" we get "Start Task Manager". Is this silly or what; just like the old "My X" folder names. Everything on the new MS OS is ridiculously more verbose.

    2. Links on desktop applications instead of icons or standard buttons? Just who thought a full sentence underlined and blue is more descriptive than a raised button or icon? If you do not know what a certain function does just hover a while for the tool tip or click the help! This links everywhere just slows down common operations and forces you to read when a small graphic (read button or icon) would be more straight forward.

    3. Ridiculously slack UI elements and control consistency. A couple OS iterations back you could decide what colors and fonts you wanted on all applications, now it seams any application can choose whatever colors and font sizes it's programmers want regardless of OS settings. This is just plain Interface Kaos.

    Just hope at some point someone thinks there IS some money to be made on the desktop environment and just shows the leadership Steve showed when he was not all about touch this and touch that.

  1. Loren

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Steve is in the details.

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