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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

October 31, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Apple loses some of its sweetness

Apple shares were down about 2 percent at one point on the first day investors got to vote on the management shakeup announced Monday. Mobile software developer Scott Forstall was said to have been made to walk the plank because of his refusal to sign an apology over the maps disaster. John Browett, brought in to lead the retail stores, was dumped after only 10 months on the job. According to the Apple Insider blog, this was a strange choice from the start.

Apple Outsider offers some other insights, on what the surprise shakeup revealed about CEO Tim Cook. “Retail chief John Browett was surely done before we on the outside even heard about his scorched-earth penny pinching. My first thought when those stories started to hit was, If this is true and Tim does not fire him, there’s a problem in Cupertino. What’s telling is how long it took.” And, “Apple’s insane growth has pushed the situation over the edge. Too much size and separation inevitably bring politics, chaos, dropped balls, and finger pointing. None of those things are good for Apple’s products or customers.”

Would these problems have been allowed to fester under the late Steve Jobs? It’s hard to believe it.

Yet this is not necessarily good news in Microsoftland. The Windows 8 launch has barely moved Microsoft stock. (Could anything, besides the resignation of Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer?). The reviews are decidedly mixed: Pretty good for a tablet, confusing for a desktop/laptop Windows user accustomed to previous versions. Microsoft keeps wanting to jump from the 1990s to the 21st century, but many of the attempted leaps so far have suffered a Wile E. Coyote outcome. Will this time be different? Seattle had better hope so.

And Don’t Miss: Climate change and Hurricane Sandy || Economist’s View

Today’s Econ Haiku:

The NYSE’s open

The bull out front has dried off

But will it still run?

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