Five reasons why Apple paid off Tony Fadell

“Apple Senior Vice President Tony Fadell, the [so-called] father of the iPod and one of the driving forces behind the iPhone, could receive a payout valued at nearly $9 million (a $300,000 salary and 77,500 shares valued at $8.4 million) for acting as a senior advisor to Apple CEO Steve Jobs,” Steven Burke writes for CRN.

“The payout is part of a complicated settlement agreement that prevents Fadell from suing Apple or soliciting Apple employees for one year after he leaves the company,” Burke writes. “The agreement, which was disclosed in an Apple Securities and Exchange Commission filing, ties Fadell to Apple until March 24, 2010.”

Burke gives five reasons Apple agreed to the big payout to Fadell:

1. It Prevents Fadell From Bringing An iPod Killer To Market In Near Term
2. It Prevents A Messy, Drawn Out, Bitter Legal Battle
3. The Payout Keeps Fadell From Poaching Apple Developers
4. It Keeps Fadell Pushing Big Product Development Advances At Apple
5. It Keeps Steve Jobs At The Center Of The Apple Universe

Full article, complete with rampant speculation, here.

MacDailyNews Take: Maybe Tony found himself on the wrong elevator at the wrong time with the wrong answer. Or maybe he really does just want to devote more time to his young family.


  1. I don’t understand. From previous articles it soundedblike Fadell left in good terms and would continue with Apple in a limited role. Now this article makes it sound as if there is bad blood or at least distrust among the two parties. What gives?

  2. It’s the execution of best practices and from the metrics, #4 is propitious; any of Fadell’s ideas would be welcome and what better way to ensure his continued success than for Apple to leave the door open.

    Silence is golden.

  3. Alright guys, I can’t stand the speculation here, so I have to come clean.

    I was recently involved in an accident at Apple while touring the facilities we’re using to produce the next iPods; we will be using the same “brick” manufacturing process as with the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros. However, an unexpected explosion has lodged shrapnel in my chest near my heart that cannot be surgically removed, but only held away from it by a powerful electromagnet. In order to power this, I in my personal lab have developed a new power source, the arc reactor, in which produces more power cleanly than anyone thought possible before this. However, I am angered by all the injustice in the world, and thus have decided to take the fight to the enemy personally by building a titanium/palladium power suit and flying around battling the forces of evil, all utilizing my new found power source.

    This will take so much of my time that I cannot remain at Apple as a full time employee, and thus have resigned thus far. My wife and I have gone into hiding to protect us from reprisal. This is not about betraying Apple, thus I freely signed non-compete contracts extending forwards, though in order to pay for my excursions I got some money out of Apple first.

    I hope this clears up what’s going on and puts the rest these speculations about some sort of scandal.


    Tony Fadell

  4. I think we are seeing how Apple deals with important people leaving the company as compared to the way IBM deals with the same issue.

    Steve may be tough, but at least he sweetens the situation with a carrot instead of a lawsuit.

  5. Sometimes you don’t appreciate spending time with your young kids until you spend it with your grandkids.

    The couple are in a financial position where they can spend more time with their kids and take time to “smell the roses”. I sure wish I was in that position when my kids were young!

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