Apple Company Leadership; Management


Apple Company Leadership


What did you find of most interest or most revealing about Apple during your research for the period of 1985 to 1996? Describe its importance to our research.

Apple is one of the most successful technology companies globally. Founded by Steve Jobs, the company had flourished since 1976, however, the period between 1985- 1996, the company experienced the lowest sales due to change in leadership (Scheneiders, 2010). The following are some of the leadership changes and their implications are as follows.

  • In 1985- the co-founder Steve Jobs was stripped of all his power and authority in the company. This made him sell off all his shares as a retaliation response and he moved to found another technology company called NeXT Inc.
  • 1n 1985- John Sculley took over as the chairman of the board of directors and as the new leader of the company. Change in leadership however in most instances does not mean change in loyalty; this means that employees may not necessarily be willing to adopt the new methods imposed by the new leader.
  • In 1987- Apple Inc had its first corporate stock dividend, the stock split and with it came a quarterly dividend of 0.3%. This means that the stock value of the company decreased (Financial Times, June 1985).
  • Between 1989-1990- the Sculley spearheaded the acquisition of very many companies in an effort to keep up with the quality of work that was done by Steve Jobs. The following were some of the companies acquired during the time; Styleware, Coral software, Satellite Communication Company, Orion Network System and Nashoba Systems. Some of these acquisitions ended up being more of liabilities than assets to the company.
  • Early 1990- this was under the leadership of Spindler, the company was involved in the manufacture of too many models that created confusion because they had minor differentiation. This was also accompanied by poor marketing strategies and the retailers would refuse to display the computers. This tarnished the PR of the company as it was known to be based on simplicity. This decreased the sales of the devices and decreased the revenue earned by the company (Linzmayer, 2004).
  • Several poor decisions were also witnessed during this time, for instance, the purchase of the competing firm IBM, a decision that was made in order to prevent Sun Microfinance from acquiring the company. Also during the same time, there was a need to make a deeper penetration into the market the company signed a contract with a third party to Apple Inc had as it was only able to get 10% of the plow back from the endeavor.
  • Officially the company was sinking as it had lost the market share control it initially had and there was a decrease in innovation and revenue. This prompted the board to request Steve Jobs, the co-founder to return as an interim CEO in 1996. Once Jobs came back he was able to make the company focus on the manufacture of a limited variety of products as opposed to many products that have no sales. He was also able to find a loophole in the 3rd party licensing of the Mac Os and terminated the contract (Scheneiders, 2010). The company was restored to its initial glory as was termed as one of the biggest company turns of the 21st




Financial Times, Peter Hawk, Apple Computer Experiences Change in Leadership, Retrieved from Public Plans, June 1985

Linzmayer, W. O. (2004). Apple Confidential 2.0; the Definitive History of the Company, Springer Publishers

Scheneiders, S. (2010). Apple’s Secret of Success- Traditional Marketing Vs Cult Marketing, Oxford University Press, New York

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