Let's find a new CEO who will transform Apple down to its core

Think of all the fun commentators will be missing. The Rat certainly is. Apple Computer
Inc.'s chief executive officer departed just after the Rat had received an advance for The
Gil Amelio Joke Book. Example of the punnery: Why does Gil Amelio need someone to drive
him? Because he has a lack of vision.


Now the check will have to be returned. And Apple must find yet another CEO to fill
Steve Jobs' tennis shoes. No, don't even think it. The Rat suspects the Jobster is all too
happy collecting a paycheck as a consultant to whomever gets tagged next.


Apple needs someone with vision, someone willing to take risks, someone with a firm
grasp on the helm of leadership. A firm grasp on reality isn't necessary. In fact, it may
be a handicap.


The cyberrodent thinks that it's time he gave Apple some help. Apple's next CEO should
be a high-profile, limelight-hogging showstopper.


With that in mind, the Rat has compiled a short list for Apple's directors to consider
as they search for someone to reverse what amounts to 10 years-at least-of steaming toward
destruction.


The Rat's nominees are:


Iron Mike has
shown he will do anything to succeed, even lose. When was the last time someone lost badly
at something and made $30 million? Er, with the exception of the last three Apple CEOs,
that is. One thing's for sure, Mike knows how to take a bite out of the competition.


Look no further-Fidel is the one. He's used to working with
an austerity budget. He's got plenty of experience in right-sizing organizations. (Can you
say purge?) And no one could accuse him of lacking vision.


Talk about a man with a handle on propaganda. He could move the whole company from
Cupertino, Calif., to Havana, dramatically cutting the living expenses of Apple employees
and providing a captive market with cheap labor.


Would Gil Amelio take a bullet fighting to support his distribution
chain? The Rat doesn't think so. And Larry certainly has vision-perhaps warped, but hey,
at least it's vision. Marketing crossovers here, however, might cause more than First
Amendment problems.


In the Rat's humble opinion, if you're
going to euthanize a company, you should choose a professional. Kevorkian can help ease
the pain of moving Apple from this life into the next.


Of course,
if these choices prove unsatisfactory, the Rat is always willing to take the job himself.
If nominated, he will run; if elected, he will serve.


But the whiskered one somehow doesn't think the folks in Cupertino are ready for his
unique vision of computing.


The Packet Rat once managed networks but now spends his time ferreting out bad packets
in cyberspace. E-mail him at rat@gcn.com.


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