“Steve Jobs always oversaw Apple’s blockbuster product launches, but he was never a one-man show,” Peter Burrows and Adam Satariano report for Businessweek. “Phil Schiller, the company’s longtime senior vice president of product marketing, often hammed it up onstage as the lower-brow counterweight to Apple’s cool, polished chief executive officer. In 1999, Schiller jumped off a 15-foot platform to show off Apple’s new iBook. In 2007, he demoed new videoconferencing features by superimposing his mouth on a photo of Steve Ballmer. ‘I love my Mac!’ Schiller had the Microsoft chief declare.”
“Offstage, Schiller wasn’t a clown but one of Jobs’s most trusted, influential lieutenants. He helped Apple’s late CEO work through the meat-and-potatoes of creating new products: Defining target markets, determining technical specs, setting prices,” Burrows and Satariano report. “It was Schiller who came up with the spin-wheel interface on the original iPod, and he was a champion of the iPad when other executives questioned its potential. ‘Because Phil’s title is marketing, people believe he’s focused on what’s on the billboards,’ says Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray. ‘He’s much more important than people give him credit for.’ Since Jobs’s death in October, perhaps no Apple executive other than CEO Tim Cook is under more pressure to fill the void.”
Burrows and Satariano report, “Schiller channeled Jobs’s perspective so consistently that he was known within Apple as Mini-Me. He found the nickname flattering and kept a cutout of the Austin Powers character in his office. Like Jobs, he is ruthlessly disciplined when it comes to choosing new products or features, which has yielded another nickname: Dr. No, for his penchant to shoot down ideas, according to one former manager.”
Much more in the full article here.
[Attribution: Macworld UK. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]