WSJ: Papermaster ‘Lost the Confidence of Mr. Jobs’

The well-sourced Yukari Iwatani Kane and Ian Sherr, reporting for the WSJ:

The iPhone 4, a key device for Apple, has been beset by issues such as antenna reception and delayed production of a white version of the gadget. Several people familiar with Mr. Papermaster’s situation said his departure was driven by a broader cultural incompatibility.

Mr. Papermaster had lost the confidence of Mr. Jobs months ago and hasn’t been part of the decision-making process for some time, these people said. They added that Mr. Papermaster didn’t appear to have the type of creative thinking expected at Apple and wasn’t used to Apple’s corporate culture, where even senior executives are expected to keep on top of the smallest details of their areas of responsibility and often have to handle many tasks directly, as opposed to delegating them.

And that’s that. The antenna wasn’t the only thing, but it may have been the final straw.

MG Siegler (and, judging by my email, he’s not alone) wonders why Apple didn’t wait a few months to show Papermaster the door, to wait for the Antennagate ashes to run cold. That’s not how Apple rolls. These senior executives are not figureheads. They work their asses off, under a lot of pressure. (Remember Tim Bucher?) When Jobs decides you’re a bozo, you’re done, timing be damned.

Monday, 9 August 2010