Court filings show Mark Papermaster not Apple’s ideal successor for iPhone and iPod chief

“A series of statements made in court filings by tentative iPod & iPhone chief Mark Papermaster and those who recruited him at Apple show that the company at first considered him a secondary pick. They also reveal that IBM’s own management has partly contradicted its stance on whether the executive could leave,” Aidan Malley and Kasper Jade report for AppleInsider.

“The filings were submitted to the Southern District New York court to take the various parties’ interpretation of events relating to IBM’s lawsuit, which accuses Papermaster of breaching the non-compete clause in his contract by leaving to head up Apple’s mobile devices group,” Malley and Jade report.

“A statement by Apple Human Resources VP Danielle Lambert reveals that the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm had started searching as early as October of 2007 for ‘iPod father’ Tony Fadell’s replacement. Apple quickly grew frustrated as it unsuccessfully tried to find a candidate with experience in consumer electronics, and ultimately made concessions to its strategy five months later, when it became clear an ideal candidate wasn’t in view,” Malley and Jade report.

“‘We interviewed numerous individuals with backgrounds in consumer electronics,’ Lambert wrote in court filings. ‘Although several of the people we interviewed possessed the technical skills necessary to understand the complex design of the iPod and iPhone, they lacked the managerial and leadership skills necessary to lead such a large and extensive undertaking. Moreover, in many cases we did not believe that the candidates would fit into Apple’s culture,'” Malley and Jade report.

“Instead, the company decided to investigate generalists who happened to be a good cultural and managerial fit, and turned to its Senior VP of Macintosh Hardware Engineering, Bob Mansfield, for recommendations; he named eight candidates,” Malley and Jade report.

Full article, with the actual documents – recommended – here.


  1. Apple spent 12 months looking for some sort of mastermind to head their iPod division and they somehow overlooked Rob Enderle.

    If Apple had snapped him up before Dell did, the new iPod could have been botched up and then abandoned as a bad idea before it ever saw daylight.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.