Apple went rotten after Steve Jobs’ death, former engineer claims in lawsuit

“Apple turned against customers and its own employees after the death of co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, a fired Apple engineer claims in a lawsuit,” Ethan Baron writes for The Mercury News. “‘No corporate responsibility exists at Apple since Mr. Jobs’ death,’ Darren Eastman alleged in a lawsuit over his termination and patents related to his work at the Cupertino tech giant.”

“Eastman claims to have invented the ‘Find my iPhone’ function,” Baron writes. “When Jobs headed Apple, he told Eastman to notify him of any unresolved problems with the company’s products, and employees in general were expected to raise such concerns, Eastman said in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Santa Clara County Superior Court. That changed after Jobs died in 2011, he claimed. ‘Many talented employees who’ve given part of their life for Apple were now regularly being disciplined and terminated for reporting issues they were expected to (report) during Mr. Jobs tenure,’ Eastman alleged in the filing. ‘Cronyism and a dedicated effort to ignore quality issues in current and future products became the most important projects to perpetuate the goal of ignoring the law and minimizing tax.'”

“Under the leadership of new CEO Tim Cook, the response to workers raising concerns is dramatically different from what occurred under Jobs, Eastman alleged,” Baron writes. “‘Notifying Mr. Cook about issues (previously welcomed by Mr. Jobs) produces either no response, or, a threatening one later by your direct manager,’ Eastman claimed. ‘There’s no accountability, with attempts at doing the right thing met with swift retaliation.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll just leave this here.

Siri Shortcuts can’t even launch the Nike Run Club app, despite Apple selling Nike-branded Apple Watches for years – September 18, 2018
Whither Apple’s mythical AirPower charging pad? Apple crabs all mention of product from website – September 13, 2018
Seriously, where the heck is Apple’s AirPower charger? – June 6, 2018
Apple product delays have more than doubled under CEO Tim Cook – January 5, 2018
At Tim Cook’s Apple, Steve Jobs is long gone, and so is the ‘it just works’ ethos – December 19, 2017
Echo Dot was Amazon’s Black Friday – Cyber Monday bestseller as Apple’s delayed HomePod waits for 2018 release date – November 28, 2017
Apple’s late, delayed, limited HomePod is looking more and more like something I don’t want – November 27, 2017
Why Apple’s HomePod is three years behind Amazon’s Echo – November 21, 2017
Under ‘operations genius’ Tim Cook, product delays and other problems are no longer unusual for Apple – November 20, 2017
Apple delays HomePod release to early 2018 – November 17, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook: The ‘operations genius’ who never has enough products to sell at launch – October 23, 2017
Apple reveals HomePod smart home music speaker – June 5, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
Apple is misplaying the hand Steve Jobs left them – November 30, 2016
Apple delays AirPod rollout – October 26, 2016
Apple delays release of watchOS 2 due to bug – September 16, 2015
Apple delays HomeKit launch until autumn – May 14, 2015
Apple delays production of 12.9-inch ‘iPad Pro’ in face of overwhelming iPhone 6/Plus demand – October 9, 2014
Tim Cook’s mea culpa: iMac launch should have been postponed – April 24, 2013

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Miguel” for the heads up.]


  1. Well, I think this is kinda well known at this point. I just never knew you could sue a company because it’s culture changes for the worse.

    There are good things too like Apple’s SJW activities SJ AD. They got rid of that gun emoji. All the Confederate flag symbols in any apps were removed and as a black male, my life has significantly improved. The pride parades are fun. They are pushing the envelope with diversity hiring. I especially enjoyed when the diversity manager suggested that you can have diversity of thought in a room full of white men, and they fired her. They are proving they can destroy bad people with their successful campaign against Alex Jones. They are doing well in the political arena.

    They have proven that no Mac will be released before its time. And when it is released, they will make sure there is, uh, room for improvement.

    I cannot possibly imagine what this engineer is so upset about?

  2. It’s almost creepy. Not 10 minutes before this article landed in my inbox I was having this very conversation with a co-worker. OK, maybe not THIS conversation (I’m an IT Mgr in a Mac-based architecture firm, not an Engineer formerly at Apple). But we were talking about the difference in apparent culture and obvious quality (and my crying over the murder of what had been an EXCELLENT server OS). I maintain that when Jobs died, the world lost its best beta tester. I think where he was concerned with making “great stuff” (and wasn’t shy about taking credit for leading it) and the money being a happy side-effect, Cook is more concerned with bottom lines, stock dividends, operational efficiencies, and tax loopholes; makes sense, he was an Operations guy before taking over. It’s sad, but I think they’ve gotten kind of “microsoft-ee.”

    1. Tim Cook has flipped Apple completely on its head.
      1- Steve Jobs hated dividends- Apple now pays dividends. He would always get asked at shareholder meetings about it and explain that driving the stock price was how he made you money.
      2- Steve Jobs hated corporate debt. He famously sent out an email to employees after Apple retired the debt it had and built a huge cash pile that could be used strategically to aid suppliers. Tim Cook has larded Apple with massive debt.
      3- Steve Jobs was absolutely binary regarding the quality of a design or the performance of a product. It was either great or shit. Apple has become the land of the eternal beta. Both of my Macs with Mojave installed keep pestering me to log in to the iTunes or one of my email accounts and iMessage is not properly syncing from my phone to my iPad to my Macs.

      1. Jobs was averse to both dividends and debt because the company was once a few months from extinction. His habits were as easily understandable as the Depression generation who learned to save everything lest Trouble come again.

        Like that generation (although arguably perhaps not the more recent ones), Apple is long past the need to save every penny for a rainy day, and, just as the hide it in the mattress mentality became a net negative for the Depression-era survivors, so, too, did sitting on sitting on piles of cash. Of course, you can swing that pendulum too far as we have seen repeatedly since the 1980’s, but Apple is nowhere near that.

        I am no fan of corporate debt, and especially leverage, but by issuing debt at ridiculously low cost to retire dividend-paying shares, Apple is actually *making* money while increasing the net value per share.

        At this insane level of profit, I think even Steve Jobs would have come around to this at some point. Certainly the dividends at least.

        So I think your opening line is inaccurate. Apple has been “flipped on its head” because it achieved incredible success, not because Tim Cook came along with different views about dividends, buybacks and cash stockpiles. If you think back to how that all started – it was investors, pundits and more griping about Apple’s cash value and how it was not being utilized. THAT was keeping the stock price down as the value trap argument was becoming the lead story.

        So the remaining question is how Apple became the success that required these changes . It was because of as well as in spite of Tim Cook. I don’t envy Tim because he is in the unenviable position of being second guessed (sometimes rightly, usually wrongly) at every turn. No matter what he gets right, pundits like those on this very page demand more. Many live in the mythology that Steve was the Messiah. While Steve had vision, it was often tunnel vision. That worked great for him most times, but failed him at others. Just as it does Tim Cook.

        It’s frustrating for many when something or someone that has been part of their lives (entire life for many of those here) doesn’t follow their lead or expectation. I’ve always been bothered but the squandered TV opportunity, for example, but the fact is that none of us is a corporate leader at Apple or probably anywhere else. And, honestly, I doubt any one of us would come anywhere near its current level of success if we were dropped in place today and could force a change on our favorite peeves (software updates/quality, TV strategy, server strategy etc). Yes, we are all so clever and smart and see the true path to success, forgetting that Apple as an enterprise is a behemoth of immense size and complexity in which it has made strides most of us never even heard or thought of. Most of the gripers here and probably myself have a 1-2% grasp of this company and what it takes to run it, and I say that as a shareholder since the 90’s.

        If I have a point here, it’s that if you think you can run Apple better then run for a seat on the board or submit your resume. Certainly do keep up your criticisms/encouragements, but send them to Apple instead of just sitting around a MDN board pontificating and whining about Apple’s perceived ills as the lone soul who has seen the light that everyone else somehow missed.

      2. And don’t forget, you can’t even charge your new iPhone XS from your new MacBook without a dongle. I think Steve would have majorly flipped out over that … not to mention the notch … saying “we must do better.”

  3. I would have to concur, and I’d argue that all of Silicon Valley did. All that anyone saw were Apple’s profits, not what actually garnered them. In some measurable ways, tech itself died with Jobs, and it is truly a shame.

    1. Jeff and James, right on! I believe this guy 100% and what he said makes perfect sense.

      The lack of software quality, lack of product updates for years, products promised and late to market, why?

      The greed priority to make more money, please Wall St., degrading quality (keyboards for one) and removing useful ports and features to make even more money FORCING purchases of expensive dongles. Cook also went against Steve’s mantra and introduced partisan liberal politics into the business and workforce.

      “Cronyism and a dedicated effort to ignore quality issues in current and future products became the most important projects to perpetuate the goal of ignoring the law and minimizing tax”

      Above says it all. It is so obvious and MDN commenters have been saying the same for over five years. Apple has turned into a money machine and tone-deaf to customers needs …

  4. Sadly, the mark of mental illness is the man who represents himself in court. If this case had even a shred of truth, the number of lawyers offering free representation would be astonishing. This poor fellow imagines that after his firing, Apple has declined because they didn’t listen to him. Tim Cook has responded to issues sent to him by customers such as myself, but apparently doesn’t listen to this fantastic engineer, who is unable to find a job in a world where good engineers are wooed with ever increasing salaries.

    1. Yeah, reminds me of Forstal who’s only claim to fame was knowing Steve Jobs. After leaving Apple, went to broadway. 🙂

      If you’re as wonderful as you suppose you are, prove it.

      1. “Yeah, reminds me of Forstal who’s only claim to fame was knowing Steve Jobs.”

        Dishonest post and you know that’s not true and if you don’t know just as clueless as Cook. Creative visionary hard driving Forstall would make a much better CEO. Tim could go back to eyeing the balance sheet, placing factory orders and pride parades…

        1. I think if Steve Jobs thought that Forstall would have made a MUCH better CEO, then Steve would have placed him there.

          But Steve seem to have disagreed with you.

          Not saying that Steve was right and that you’re wrong, but Steve clearly didn’t think he’d make a MUCH better CEO. Must have been a reason for that that is unknown to us.

          1. You admitted you don’t know and neither do I of Steve’s motivations. Possibly Steve did not care to have a rival to succeed him and feared for the company going with the safe boring choice, aka his liberal friend. Happens all the time in business…

  5. No thinking person is surprised to see news like this. It’s been clear since forever that Pipeline has nowhere near the belief in both the customer and quality software and hardware that Steve Jobs had. It’s not even close. Pipeline, despite being hand picked by Jobs for the role, has no resemblance whatsoever to Steve and his philosophy.

    Pipeline shows nothing but contempt for quality.

    Pipeline surrounds himself with yes men sycophants.

    Pipeline disciplines no one when they screw up on quality issues.

    Pipeline disciplines no one when they screw up on production issues.

    No one paid a price for the mess that is AirPower. Pipeline simply deletes all references to this from Apple’s web site.

    Pipeline simply does not care at all about the customer.

    Caring about the customer is what made Apple great.

    Pipeline is the leader who will drive Apple into the ground. It’s already in motion. Slowly, but the motion is there. Pipeline is riding Steve Jobs coat tails right into the ground.

  6. I feel like if I don’t step in and help Tim, at this moment in time, the company may suffer a total collapse. I’ll check with my wife to see if I can spare the time away from our business… this is so very important… and since I’m not an engineer, I am confident that Tim will embrace my help with passionate fervent vigor. We’ll see if I can’t help him get this turned around by Halloween. Wish me luck!

    1. Wishing you well, Jim.

      No doubt there are many trolls – I mean contributors – here who can also help you with brilliant ideas about how the biggest company on the planet should be run.

      1. And I’m sure many have or are currently working at leadership roles in companies with a $500 billion market cap. It’s so nice of them to take some of their valuable time to come to share their wealth of knowledge!

  7. This is not surprising at all. Just look at iOS updates ever since cook took over. Except maybe cook finally got the message and iOS 12 is the result. Let’s hope it keeps up moving forward.

  8. He must be believed!

    Isn’t that “the flavor of the month” where we temporarily are as a country?!?

    The “#MeToo” and “She must be believed” were nowhere to be found when Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broderick and Paula Jones were asking to be believed. Maybe if it was Judge Kavanaugh back then, instead of Bill Clinton, they might have been.

    1. What is your point?

      Republicans have no moral high ground. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

      Slick Willy Clinton messed around. So did hundreds of other powerful politicians. Republicans attempted to destroy Clinton for his extracurricular activities, wasting millions in taxpayer money.

      But then the Republicans were happy to appoint filanderer Clarence Thomas to the bench.

      The republicans swept under the rug G.W. Bush’s drug and alcohol addictions and “youthful indiscretions”.

      They turned a blind eye to Trump’s admitted and proven serial infidelities, tax shenanigans, and many past and current lawsuits against him for all manner of business fraud and breach of contract.

      Now serial sex offender Trump puts forth a highly political and openly biased nominee for a lifetime appointment. He appears to have had a bit of a problem with alcohol and women in his past. But to the Republicans, they care only about stacking the bench with biased judges who will rule pro-corporation, pro-executive. A classic case of political abuse of the judiciary. Will the people have a chance to hear the full truth and nothing but the truth? No. Multiple accusers have named witnesses and McConnell has decided that his schedule is too important, they will not be interviewed.

      Both parties are completely corrupt, but it takes a special kind of antiethical behaviour to choose not to hear witnesses with direct bearing on a nominee’s alleged past drunken abusive behavior and push for a vote when all the facts have not been heard.

      Is that the fair process you believe in? 5 minutes of statements and rush to highly partisan vote?

      It is very clear Kavanaugh is being rewarded for his service on the Starr team. Nothing he has done otherwise has distinguished him as an exceptionally capable or gifted judge. He hasn’t demonstrated any particular ability to preside over the technologically complex issues that the court will face in the future. The one and only characteristic that makes Kavanaugh a must-approve judge from the standpoint of the Republican party is that he will be loyal to the party and shield them and their current figurehead, sexual predator and corrupt businessman/TV personality turned politician Trump.

      The swamp hasn’t been drained. The republicans are merely replacing democratic scum with toxic red algae — and the red scum, unlike the few surviving moderates left in D.C., has no morals whatsoever. Voters wanted change, what they got was a deepening of the most corrupt establishment politicians we have seen since Tricky Dick perjured himself and the Republican party back then had enough moral backbone to accept his resignation.

      1. “What is your point?”

        This is the point:

        “The “#MeToo” and “She must be believed” were nowhere to be found when Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broderick and Paula Jones were asking to be believed.” Don’t forget Kathleen Willey of unwanted sexual advances in the White House.

        Democrats have ZERO moral high ground. It’s called hypocrisy and DOUBLE STANDARDS. What part do you not understand?

        “Slick Willy Clinton messed around.”

        How nice and so cute he just messed around. Boys will be boys, right? Maybe Kavanaugh was just messing around too. So you’re saying it’s perfectly acceptable for one party and not the other you do not support, got it.

        Obvious you have blind spots while defending Democrats. So to refresh your memory, then why was Clinton charged and accused of rape and sexual harassment by so many women I lost count, hmm?

        To clue you in Clinton was found guilty in court, lied and tried to cover up his dirty deeds. He lost his law license, paid an $850,000 fine as a result and was impeached by Congress.

        Balance and fairness is missing from your playbook when it comes to politics. You do much better when it comes to Apple critiques …

        1. Disgusting behavior by Democrat – thoroughly investigated and many serious consequences.

          Disgusting behavior alleged by their boy – Republican response, “No need to have any further investigation here. Nothing to see.”

          1. Clinton for the number of high crimes he committed got off with a slap on the wrist. He should be in jail like Bill Cosby. Fingers crossed one day #metoo will go after him in the future unless they are double standard biased.

            As far as Kavanaugh, they are conducting another useless FBI check that may implicate Ford is at risk. When you don’t have exact dates, locations and corroborating witnesses 36 years later you have nothing but he said, she said paperwork.

            Nothing more than a STALL TACTIC up against the election while they drag a dollar through a trailer park and find other unverifiable reports out of left field the media will report on breathlessly and the hell with journalistic standards and verification. The media is more desperate than the Democrats.

            If even one more false accusation comes to light, I can see it now. The Democrats breaking their promise to vote after a week feigning the false moral high ground and asking for another week so the woman can be heard, then another and another. This is a well planned tactic and if you don’t see it, you never will.

            Mark my words, we shall see…

  9. From the standpoint of Mac users, Apple absolutely has taken a turn for the worse under Cook’s limp wristed corporate leadership. Profits — and specifically, forcing subscriptions while playing stock market games with Wall Street — have become Apple’s main interest. Maintaining and improving its legacy product portfolio, and maintaining clear product quality leadership, are obviously not being done at all. Hardware design has been boring and non-innovative, mostly trading off useful features and durability in order to shave another millimeter or two in product thickness. Ergonomics and performance and value are all waning in the Mac realm. It is an embarrassment.

    The fish in this case indeed rots from the head.

  10. I have been a Mac user since 2002. What this guy says rings true to me.

    Arrogance gets in the way of good business practice. By the time Apple figures this out it will be too late. Even a behemoth can stumble.

  11. Frustrated with the “if you think you can do better, send them your resume” crap.

    Many of us grew up with Apple through multiple decades and have developed an innate feeling of what the company once represented. Stating that the past few years have diminished that feeling or seemed to be going in a perpendicular direction is not uncalled for.

    If you can’t commiserate here, where could you? By all means, don’t stop there. Send feedback to Apple, bring things back to the store, stop purchasing things from them, etc…but geez, don’t just accept it and shut down discussions.

    Apple’s been through some tough times. What I find particularly telling is that even through those earlier times when you didn’t know how long they’d be around, there was never a doubt about what they were all about–never a doubt about what they were trying to do–people and great products that people didn’t even know they wanted came first.

    Lately, even though they’re at the top of their game financially speaking, it feels worse than during those earlier times. Every time I pick up a device or app that doesn’t delight, and often frustrates me, I’m left wondering what’s happened? Every time they delay a major product, I’m left wondering if it’s even worth it to wait any more?


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