That’s what Steve Jobs called the Wall Street Journal’s report that Apple’s board was talking to recruiting firms about finding his replacement. Either the Journal censored Steve or he was being uncharacteristically kind.
Since Steve Jobs went on medical leave this winter, some members of Apple Inc.’s board have discussed CEO succession with executive recruiters and at least one head of a high-profile technology company, according to people familiar with the matter.
So, it’s fairly safe to assume that this rumor came from…executive recruiters and one head of a high-profile technology company. In other words, the individuals who would have the most to gain if Apple decided that it really didn’t like making money and that all that growth is sooo exhausting, so it should look for a CEO outside the company.
A couple of Apple directors have held talks about the company’s leadership with some search firms after those recruiters informally approached them, said three of these people.
“We’d like to parade a collection of mouth-breathing yahoos and empty suits through the palace that Steve Jobs built with his sweat, tears, and vision. And we’d like to get paid fabulously for it. Whaddaya say?!”
Some of the people who talked with Apple directors said they considered the conversations to be more than the routine discussions they typically have with board members.
OK, the Macalope doesn’t know if it’s true that the board members the recruiters talked to also considered these talks “more than routine.” It’s conceivable that some of the squirrelier ones might have.
That still doesn’t mean they’re going to hire someone from outside the company.
You all know this game, right?
The Macalope remembers interviewing for a job opening for a mythical beast years ago. Not five minutes into it he knew it was a waste of his time. The interviewer was just going through the motions.
Why? Because they had an internal candidate.
Sure enough, two weeks later the Macalope learned a wyvern already working for the company got the job. Whatever, the Macalope thought. You don’t want to work anywhere that would put a wyvern in a position of responsibility. Wyverns are flighty.
That might sound racist, but wyverns actually fly. And, sure enough, one day this one up and flew off with the code for their accounting system. He didn’t use it to embezzle money or anything. He just ate it. (Wyverns are also omnivores.)
Anyway, the point is, Apple’s board has been under pressure from some investors about Jobs’s situation, so is it possible that some of them might have wanted to give the appearance of doing something. Even if it was something stupid.
Ultimately, however, there’s no need to worry about this. Maybe there are more (doubtful), but the horny one can think of only one person outside the company who could conceivably be brought in—Jon Rubinstein—and he doesn’t seem terribly likely. No clown-shoed goober is going to be brought in to Apple for one very simple reason: you don’t mess with success.
[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]