Call me a news junkie, but I watch more than my fair share on TV, read more from multiple news sources, and try to pay attention to what goes on in the world. Almost a decade ago I wrote a much-criticized article about Apple’s then CEO. The Steve Jobs Death Watch.
I do not wish to sound an alarm so much as to alert others to what I see—an unhealthy looking Steve Jobs, leading his company at a critical juncture in technogadget history.
That was mid-2008, a few years after Jobs announced his bout with cancer, and a keynote presentation, where, frankly, he looked unhealthy.
I do wish to state the obvious. Steve Jobs does not look well and that is not good for Apple.
Jobs died just a few years later.
What do I see now?
I call it The Eddy Cue Pink Slip Watch. No, it’s not a new watch band for Apple Watch. It’s senior executive Eddy Cue losing more responsibility at Apple. This time it was moving Siri from Cue’s domain to senior VP of software engineering, Craig Federighi, the tall, affable, hunk who manages iOS and macOS– and now, Siri.
That executive shuffle follows on the heels of Eddy Cue losing responsibility for Apple’s App Stores to senior VP of marketing, Phil Schiller.
Cue has been at Apple since 1989, many years before Jobs returned in 1997.
Eddy Cue oversees Apple’s industry-leading content stores including the iTunes Store and Apple Music, as well as Apple Pay, Maps, Search Ads, Apple’s innovative iCloud services, and Apple’s productivity and creativity apps.
That seems to be a big plate.
Apple Music continues to fall behind Spotify. iTunes is one of Apple’s most criticized applications. Apple’s basic table stakes applications– Calendar, Mail, Reminders and others have fallen well behind third party competitors. Apple Pay works great but it’s hard to find stores that use it. iCloud has improved in the past few years, more because Apple controls the hardware server farms instead of renting from others.
Eddy also leads the newly created team responsible for developing all aspects of Apple’s worldwide video programming.
How’s that working out for Apple so far?
Both of the made-for-Apple TV-like shows have received at best mixed reviews (Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps, respectively). I want to see Cue succeed as an Apple executive. But it looks like handwriting on the wall when major responsibilities start sliding to other executives.