Tuesday, February 4, 1997 by Dave Winer.
At noon I got a call from Guerrino De Luca, who until today was president of Claris, Apple's commercial software subsidiary. He told me about the reorganization that Apple is announcing in a few minutes, and asked for an embargo until 1PM, which I agreed to.
The new structure of Apple is streamlined, according to De Luca, with a two-part R&D organization; system software reporting to Avie Tevanian, the top software guy from Next; and Jon Rubenstein, in charge of hardware product development.
Rubenstein is a new hire, coming to Apple from FirePower Systems, http://www.firepower.com/. These two executives will report to Apple chairman Gil Amelio.
Ellen Hancock, the former Chief Technical Officer of Apple, will have lesser responsibilities in the new organization. Apple's advanced technology group will report to her, as will Apple's chief scientist and Apple Fellows.
All Apple marketing functions will be concentrated under a new Vice President of Marketing, and (drum roll please) that man is Mr. De Luca. All Apple marketing activities report to him, including product marketing, developer relations, marketing communications. We had an interesting chat about Apple's marketing priorities and found we agreed on many points.
Marco Landi, formerly Apple's COO, will now head up worldwide sales and support. George Scalise will run operations, Fred Anderson runs Finance and Administration.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak will play a more active role in setting Apple's direction; both will serve as members of Apple's Executive Committee, a group consisting of Amelio's direct reports.
It ain't over until the fat lady sings.
It seems like a simpler organization now. Changing the focus to marketing is a good idea; Apple has been shy to sell the benefits of the Mac for a very long time. There's upside here.
It also seems like a bad time for Apple to be internally focused. Let's hope they get thru this quickly, and emerge a more focused entity, better able to work with other product developers and platform vendors to assure that the Macintosh has a strong future.