Golf Tips From Steve Jobs

Regarding Avie Tevanian’s promotion from SVP of software engineering to Chief Software Technology Officer, a relevant excerpt from chapter 16 of Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli’s Becoming Steve Jobs:

“Steve kept people in a box,” says Avie. Tevanian had talked to his boss several times about his itch to do something new, and in 2003, Steve had moved him into a role as the company’s “chief software technology officer.” It was unquestionably a promotion, but it turned out to be a job without much of a portfolio. Tevanian found himself with little concrete responsibility. He felt out of the loop, and realized that his new role would not work. “Being a pseudo individual staff person working for Steve doesn’t work, because he already has all the answers. He didn’t like it when I would be in a meeting where he was reviewing a product, and I would have an opinion. He just didn’t like it. And he grew to not like that I could be a senior person like that without having day-to-day responsibilities to deliver something,” he says.

“Tim Cook, now Apple’s CEO, says that he worried about Tevanian leaving, and urged Steve in 2004 to figure out another challenge to keep the brilliant software engineer at Apple. “Steve looked at me,” Cook remembers, “and goes, ‘I agree he’s really smart. But he’s decided he doesn’t want to work. I’ve never found in my whole life that you could convince someone who doesn’t want to work hard to work hard.’ ” Another time, shortly after Steve had learned that Tevanian had taken up golf, Steve carped to Cook that something was really amiss. “Golf?!” he thundered incredulously. “Who has time for golf?”

Monday, 1 June 2015