Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Apple CEO Proclaims Troubles Are Over

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Apple CEO Proclaims Troubles Are Over

Article excerpt

BOSTON (AP) -- Providing ample evidence that Apple Computer Inc. still knows how to innovate, Chief Executive Gilbert Amelio on Wednesday gave the company's devotees a glimpse of many futuristic ideas and said Apple's worst troubles were over.

"Apple's survival is no longer a question," Amelio declared at the start of the MacWorld Expo, the biggest trade show devoted to Apple products. "The question is how exciting is it going to be."

The answer depends on Apple's ability to deliver the product concepts Amelio demonstrated, including a new look, or "user interface," for showing data on a computer screen.

He also showed new designs for computers, including a leather- bound laptop, one with a handle built-in to the plastic molding and one with a keyboard that folds up behind a flat-panel screen.

Such innovations clearly showed Apple intends to continue pushing the personal computer industry in new directions, as it has since the Macintosh went on sale in 1984.

Amelio's speech, the opening event at MacWorld, drew a standing ovation from several thousand Apple loyalists, customers and developers. About 50,000 are expected to attend the three-day convention.

Amelio recounted many of the strategic decisions he has made since February when he became chief executive of the Cupertino, Calif.- based PC maker, the world's third-largest.

Hurt by high operating costs, misjudgments about product demand and faulty components, Apple suffered the worst period in its 20 years this winter and spring. Sales fell and takeover rumors swirled.

The company began cutting 1,300 jobs in January and an additional 1,500 in April. It has since changed its operating structure and trimmed its product lines for efficiency.

Amelio touched on his attempt to bring some financial discipline to the company, which has long had a reputation as one of the most free-spending in Silicon Valley, by saying "professional management" was a priority.

"We're just too big to shoot from the hip or just muddle through," Amelio said, though he did not go into specifics. …

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