NEW YORK _ Apple Computer Inc. Chairman John Sculley, who
turned the easy-to-use Macintosh from a novelty into a marketing
wonder of the 1980s, resigned Friday after 10 years at the
forefront of the computer revolution.
The move had been expected since Sculley was replaced as chief
executive in June, and he leaves on a down note. For Apple, 1993
has brought weak profits, a major restructuring and profound
questions about its future.
Sculley, 54, did not announce his plans. But he has been
rumored as a candidate for top corporate jobs, and analysts said
the ardent cheerleader for 21st century technologies would be a
natural for one of the combinations sweeping the communications
Mike Markkula, 51, a vice chairman and one of Apple's
founders, was named chairman. Sculley, who joined Apple in 1983
from Pepsico Inc., was succeeded as CEO by Michael Spindler.
"I've had some wonderful years at Pepsi, an extraordinary
journey at Apple and now I'm ready to head off to new
challenges," Sculley said in a statement.
Sculley won a power struggle in 1985 with techie Steven Jobs _
who founded Apple in a California garage _ and led its
transformation from a $600 million company with a small following
into an $8 billion colossus.
Apple's colorful, point-and-click Macintosh line won over a
generation of first-time computer users. More than 10 million
Macintosh computers have been sold since its splashy 1984
"He was not a pioneer in the context of a Jobs or a
Hewlett-Packard, but he was clearly one of the ones who was able
to take the technology and bring it into the mainstream," said
Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, a Santa Clara,
Calif., consulting firm.
"Being a pioneer in technology is almost less important than
being able to capitalize on it," he said.
Sculley's exit was rooted in the year-old PC price wars that
have slashed profit margins across the industry.
Weak demand for its pricey Macintoshes left large stockpiles.
Apple's U.S. market share was 12.3 percent in the first half of
1993, down from 13.3 percent a year earlier, according to
International Data Corp. in Framingham, Mass.
Sculley stepped down as CEO shortly before Apple laid off
about 2,500 employees and reported its biggest quarterly loss
ever _ $188 million. The company said leaving that job was his
idea, but a former director, Albert Eisenstat, has claimed in a
lawsuit that Sculley was forced out.
Signs that Sculley was detaching himself from Apple were
plentiful. He began spending more time as a company and industry
visionary, rather than running operations. …