On January 4th, Roger Heinen, senior vice president and general manager of Apple’s Macintosh Software Architecture Division, resigned to take a position at Microsoft as vice president of Database and Development Tools. Rumor has it that Mr. Bill made it worth Heinen’s while to leave. I waited to say anything about this because I wanted to see if any juicy news came out of it. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot to report.
Apple’s president and COO, Michael Spindler, offered the traditional platitudes (I’d rather he offered platypuses, but I suppose that’s out of the question) about wishing Heinen well, but you have to suspect that the top Apple brass is worried about Heinen leaving. Projects that came from Heinen’s team during his three years at Apple include System 7 and QuickTime, and even if Heinen is contractually limited from revealing Apple confidential secrets, you still have to wonder. Apple announced eight days later that David Nagel, previously senior vice president of Apple’s Advanced Technology Group, will replace Heinen and serve as temporary head of ATG until Apple can find a successor.
In other boardroom beatings, John Akers, chairman of IBM, will step down in the next few months. I believe the dollars behind that move number around $5.64 billion, with a negative sign somewhere in front. That’s a lot of money to lose in a quarter, and about $4 billion more than IBM lost last year in the fourth quarter. Bean counters hate counting out that many beans and giving them to other people. The question, of course, is what form IBM will appear in after it recovers, which it will do at some point. IBM is too large to go away as we know it. Interestingly, it appears that one of the top names considered as a replacement is Apple CEO John Sculley, along with the Intel President Andrew Grove, Motorola Chairman George Fisher, GE Chairman Jack Welch, and even Ross Perot.
One thing to note. As much as IBM bashing is a good time, keep in mind that IBM in the past has had enough money to devote a great deal to basic research, the sort of research that will never earn any money in our lifetimes. Over the past decade, IBM has spent $50 billion on R&D, and that’s more than any other company ever. Writing IBM with individual xenon atoms is neat, but useless… today. Who knows what we may lose if IBM’s research arms shut down entirely?
MacWEEK — 25-Jan-93, Vol. 7, #4, pg. 34