John Sculley: Apple TV will be the company’s most revolutionary product (as if he knows anything)

“The revamped Apple TV expected to be announced alongside the latest iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus next week represents the opportunity for the company to reinvent television, John Sculley has said,” Rhiannon Williams reports for The Telegraph.

“The former Apple chief executive told the Telegraph it was the ‘perfect time’ to release a new set top box in the wake of huge telecoms deals and the unbundling of Pay-TV in order to compete with online streaming services including Netflix and Amazon Prime,” Williams reports. “The Californian company is believed to be planning to reveal its fourth generation Apple TV on Wednesday September 9, rumoured to sport a touch-pad remote, extra inbuilt storage and Siri voice control for browsing and selecting programmes.”

Williams reports, ‘John Sculley served as Apple’s chief executive from 1983 to 1993, working closely with the late Steve Jobs.”

MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, until the unprepared sugared water salesbozo made the stupidest decision of his life (followed closely by stupidly signing away the company jewels to Microsoft and ushering in the computer Dark Ages) and forced Jobs out of Apple.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, but what does the Wawa sandwich guy say?

John Sculley: Forcing Steve Jobs out of Apple was a mistake – April 18, 2014
Failed Apple CEO John Sculley: If I were Samsung, I would tap Ron Johnson – April 10, 2013
If John Sculley says Apple must do this then Apple probably shouldn’t – January 17, 2013
Former Apple CEO Sculley gives his take on Steve Jobs – January 13, 2012
John Sculley: I wish I told Steve Jobs ‘This is your company, let’s figure out how you can come back and be CEO’ – Septemeber 13, 2011
Steve Jobs steps down the first time: The 1985 press coverage – August 26, 2011
John Sculley: Apple’s big mistake was hiring me as CEO – October 14, 2010
Sculley: Uh, maybe I shouldn’t have fired Steve Jobs – June 7, 2010


  1. As a long time “tv hobby” denier, I have always felt the potential for this product has been tragically ignored by Apple, including Jobs himself. tv and similar products have already “reinvented television” in spite of their red-headed stepchild status. It has always had the potential to destroy the cable television cabal.

    1. …further, the current tv GUI design blows, looks like some kinda Curtis-Mathes tv newspaper ad out of the sixties from The Helen Keller School Of Design…just needs more balloons with “NEW!” and “IMPROVED!”

  2. Steve Jobs was a better CEO than Scully, but no one at MDN has been even remotely considered as heir to Apple. Being lead fry chef at Bill’s Burger Barn summer of ’86 doesn’t count.

  3. Funny that Sculley’s comments bear any weight these days only because he was once CEO of Apple in it’s more darker days. If he had stayed with Pepsi people would be saying “Sculley who?” Apple (and the world arguably) suffered long and hard with Sculleyosis. A rare Jobs misfire decision.

    1. Jobs’ decision was that of a business rookie. It continues to be difficult for most of us to consider human personalities within a business system. There are also the differences in leadership roles within an aged, uninventive company (such as Pepsi) and a fiercely inventive company (such as Apple). None of this had penetrated Steve Jobs’ comprehension. Who can blame him? What’s great is that he learned (away from Apple) and adapted to what a company like Apple requires for leadership in order to remain inventive. It’s personal maturation. Apple also had to go through the entirely requisite cycle of falling into the Marketing-As-Management hole, then clawing its way back out again in order to realize what it had to be if it wanted to be It’s Best Self as a system.

      Kodak fell in the hole and didn’t crawl out. Sony is in the hole right now and is stagnating if not rotting there. Google is constantly on the brink because its monetization resources depend upon constant marketing. Its possible to analyze any company and place it on the learning curve regarding the Marketing-As-Management problem. Apple remains, at least right now, on the flats. It learned the lesson and rarely falls for Marketing-As-Management traps.

      (Exception: John Browett, former Apple Retail Senior VP. OMFG oops. Look him up. Let’s not allow that to happen again).

      1. Definitely, I agree. Kodak really had it’s denial blinders on sadly. Having been a lifelong Kodak customer as a consumer, professional and movie industry 35mm user it was painful to watch. When you know your core business is about to be taken away from you you get out in front, not lag behind. But that requires a little prescient spidey sense. Ditto on once industry leader Sony. Now the name invokes nothing special anymore.

        1. What was fascinating at Kodak (I had a front row seat) was that it continued to have progressive R&D as the digital age dawned. Kodak was at the forefront of a lot of digital technology, including digital sensors! But the management at Apple had become marketing based. That had happened because the cash cow for Kodak was old film technology based on sales, not much in the way of innovation. Marketing took over management, and the entirely inevitable demolition of all things productive occurred, including the extreme hatred and persecution of Kodak’s R&D. Despite a great deal of digital genius at Kodak, within management the advent of digital was considered a THREAT. R&D was considered threatening. Insanity ensued in plentiful ways. The digital genius at Kodak ran away screaming, the old school held its ground, the future buried Kodak.

          I’d love to see a detailed, boots on the ground account of ever tortuous detail of the corruption and corrosion of Kodak. If anyone is interested, I’d enjoy lending a hand. Sadly, I am not the one to write that book.

          1. I’d love to read that book too! I know of your great Kodak experiences which is very cool. I just read an article about the kid at Kodak who fashioned the first digital camera and then management “wisely” kept it in the cellar (of denial). Problem with all things digital is now it completely opens up the playing field, unlike the difficult manufacturing processes of making film. I;m sure they realized at least that, but should have gotten out in front. Ultimately it may not have mattered. My experience with all consumer Kodak goods besides film is largely they were terrible. Designed by seemingly clueless old men.

    2. Unlike Sculley, one can find insightful and thoughtful anecdotes of numerous wizards of Silicon Valley broadcast here at MDN. These denizens of high technology, industry, and finance grace us with their wisdom and regale us with enthralling tales of their prodigious acumen and noteworthy histories.

    3. “A rare Jobs misfire decision.”

      Ah, someone has finally blamed Jobs, rightly so, for Apple’s failure post 1987.

      Jobs hand picked Sculley. Jobs pursued a reluctant Sculley.

      Scully did at Apple what he did at Pepsi, only at Pepsi it worked. Apple/Pepsi two totally different industries, two totally different cultures.

      Sculley was and remains a highly competent CEO with the right fit.

      Apple’s problems actually started long before Sculley arrived. Those decisions were the use of non-industry standard technologies: SCSI ports, ADB ports, Motorola processors, et al, all of which made the Mac far more expensive than Wintel counterparts, and limited the number of programmers that would write for MacOS. These were Jobs’ decisions, not Sculley’s

      1. Jobs was not perfect but should be recognized for what he did that was right than an error in judgment. Decisions that seem good at the time can come back and prove themselves wrong later in benefit of hindsight. Wouldn’t it be grand if we all had the benefit of hindsight before acting? Doubtful you would not want to be remembered solely for your own mistakes if you had more spectacular successes. In the end with Jobs going off and creating NeXT and coming back older and wiser set up Apple to become the giant it is than if Jobs had stayed. Though I think Apple would simply had gotten there sooner had Jobs stayed but without the necessary humbling he may not have become the better CEO he became.

      2. It’s so obvious today Jobs had a talent few had or have – he could see the technology and it’s potential and how to make and market it. Bill Gates could see the potential but hadn’t a clue how to make it good having no taste nor the desire for real brilliance in the product – just “good enough”. Lots of those kind of people, few with Jobs ability to hone, isolate and perfect the applications of that technology. I don’t think any of us wants the mediocre interpretation from some average Bozo of a said technology, but that’s only what most are capable.

  4. Sculley’s real mistake was getting involved in presidential politics in 1992, while Apple’s business was sliding. He was spending too much time in Arkansas and New York when he should have been in Cupertino.

  5. Even a sugar water salesbozo can be right two times a day.

    Apple TV will be huge because of the recent programming changes on mainstream television – people are primed and ready to dump Comcast (except for forced ISP subscription until Verizon can wire FIOS as promised years ago).

  6. I disagree with everyone that is mad at scully for forcing steve jobs out at apple. I think that was the greatest thing that happened to Steve Jobs. Reading the authorized book and watching many interviews, Steve was a BIG baby back then and seemed very immature. I think when he was fired it gave him a dose of reality and made him a better person.

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