Yelp plays a huge role in Apple’s new Maps app for iOS 6 and Siri. Each search location in Maps brings up Yelp reviews, photos and check-ins. Siri searches and sorts restaurants based on reviews from Yelp users. Needless to say, Apple has made Yelp a big part of their iOS strategy, but in 2010 when Apple was developing Siri they almost lost the service to Google, who wanted to buy the company.
Steve Jobs knew that if Google bought Yelp it would have some serious consequences for their plans with Siri and iOS, so he did what any powerful CEO would do – called Yelp’s CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman, and told him not to sellout to Google, and it worked.
In January of 2010, Jobs called Stoppelman’s office and told him -
“Stay independent and [don't] sell out to Google.” At that point, we had already turned down Google, but Steve liked Yelp and wanted to make sure about Google. It was a moment where I said, ‘This is crazy. What just happened?”
Spurning Google’s offer may have seemed like a dumb move to some, but it’s all worked out for Yelp and Stoppleman. Yelp is now a publicly traded company worth about $1.3billion to go along with their 70 million users, and Stoppleman has become one of Silicon Valley’s rising stars. Oh yeah, and Apple gets to use Yelp for restaurants info in iOS 6, taking them one step away from being dependent on Google for search.