Today in Apple history: Newton boss departs as device struggles

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The Newton MessagePad looks gigantic next to an iPhone.
The Newton MessagePad did not become the immediate hit Apple desired.
Photo: Blake Patterson/Wikipedia CC

April 19 April 19, 1994: The executive in charge of Apple’s revolutionary new product line, the Newton MessagePad, parts ways with Apple.

“We can’t say whether he fell or was pushed,” says an Apple spokesman. Reports suggest that the departing Gaston Bastiaens, general manager of Apple’s personal interactive electronics division, is leaving due to his failure to make the Newton a financial success.

Today in Apple history: Apple co-founder quits and cashes in his stake for $800

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Ron Wayne: today, and when he co-founded Apple in 1976
Ron Wayne today and when he co-founded Apple in 1976.
Photo: Ron Wayne

April 12: Today in Apple history: Apple co-founder Ron Wayne quits and cashes in his stake for $800 April 12, 1976: Apple’s third co-founder, a former Atari colleague of Steve Wozniak’s named Ron Wayne, cashes in his Apple shares for just $800.

Wayne, who owns a 10 percent stake in the company, throws in the towel after worrying that he doesn’t have the time or energy to properly invest in Apple. He later receives an extra $1,500 check to seal the deal. When he cashes it, he loses out on an investment worth billions.

Today in Apple history: John Sculley takes over as Apple CEO

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Former Apple CEO John Sculley talks at Web Summit 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.
John Sculley goes from pushing Pepsi to running Apple.
Photo: Web Summit/Flickr CC

April 8: Today in Apple history: John Sculley takes over as Apple CEO April 8, 1983: John Sculley, former president of PepsiCo, takes charge as Apple’s third CEO.

Despite a total lack of experience selling tech products, Sculley is lured to Apple by Steve Jobs himself. The Apple co-founder famously pitched the Pepsi exec with the line, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”

Introducing Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level

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Tim Cook book cover
Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook is seriously underrated. Seven years after taking over as CEO from Steve Jobs, the narrative that he’s riding his predecessor’s coattails needs to change. It’s just not true.

Cook is his own man, transforming Apple in his own way. See Monday’s Apple credit card and subscription News+ app as examples, which are centered on customer privacy, a big Tim Cook mandate.

The company today is a better corporate citizen than it was in the past. And as a business, it’s firing on all cylinders. Cook is doing almost everything right. Some pundits are beginning to argue he’s Apple’s best CEO yet.

Today in Apple history: CFO Peter Oppenheimer retires from Apple

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Peter
Peter Oppenheimer oversaw a decade of explosive growth at Apple.
Photo: C-SPAN

March 4: Today in Apple history: Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer retires March 4, 2014: Peter Oppenheimer, the Apple chief financial officer who presided over a decade of skyrocketing growth, steps down from the company.

After becoming Apple CFO in 2004, Oppenheimer saw the company’s valuation soar from $8.8 billion to $471 billion. Luca Maestri, current Apple senior vice president and chief financial officer, replaced Oppenheimer in this crucial position.

Happy birthday, Jony Ive: Apple’s design genius turns 52

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Jony Ive
Jony Ive has been at Apple since 1992.
Screenshot: Vanity Fair/YouTube

Today marks the 52nd birthday of Jony Ive, Apple’s much-admired chief design officer. As the shaper of products including, well, virtually everything that Apple builds, Ive has been a central presence since Steve Jobs’ return to Cupertino in the late 1990s.

To celebrate his birthday, check out one of Ive’s most interesting interviews. Happy birthday, Jony!

Today in Apple history: Massive layoffs clear out Apple’s ‘bozo explosion’

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This was one of the worst (and one of the most significant) days in Apple history.
Photo: Bonhams

February 25 Today in Apple history: Apple layoffs: Black Wednesday clears out the 'bozo explosion' February 25, 1981: Apple CEO Michael Scott oversees a mass firing of employees, then holds a massive party.

“I used to say that when being CEO at Apple wasn’t fun anymore, I’d quit,” he tells a crowd of Apple staffers. “But now I’ve changed my mind — when being CEO isn’t fun anymore, I’ll just fire people until it is fun again.” For many people at Apple, the day is the worst in company history — and an early sign that the fun startup culture of the early days are gone forever.

Today in Apple history: Mac creator complains about Steve Jobs

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Jobs
Young Steve Jobs wasn't exactly easy to work with!
Photo: Esther Dyson/Flickr CC

February 19 Today in Apple history: Mac creator Jef Raskin complains about Steve Jobs February 19, 1981: Jef Raskin, creator of the Macintosh project, sends a memo to Apple CEO Mike Scott, listing his many complaints about working with Steve Jobs.

He claims that Jobs, who joined the Mac team the previous month, is tardy, shows bad judgment, interrupts people, doesn’t listen and is a bad manager.

Quit or canned? Why is Angela Ahrendts leaving Apple? [Opinion]

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Ahrendts
Did Angela Ahrendts jump or was she pushed?
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

When Apple fires an executive, the company is rarely straightforward about the situation. Apple never puts out a press release stating plainly that the executive was canned. So Tuesday’s unexpected announcement that Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s head of retail, is leaving in April led many to suspect she was fired.

That’s because the announcement came as a surprise and seems rushed. She’s certainly not retiring or quitting to join another company. The press release phrase “new personal and professional pursuits” sounds like code for “canned.”

What you need to know about Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s new head of retail

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Deirdre O’Brien, a 30-year Apple veteran, will lead Apple’s Retail and People teams.
30-year Apple veteran Deirdre O’Brien will handle the company's retail push.
Photo: Apple

Apple tapped Deirdre O’Brien to be its new retail boss today in light of the news that Angela Ahrendts plans to leave the company.

While O’Brien may not be a household name to most Apple fans, she’s been with the company for more than three decades. From the days of Steve Jobs saving Apple from bankruptcy to watching Tim Cook leading the company to a first-ever $1 trillion valuation, O’Brien has seen huge changes during her tenure with the iPhone-maker. Now she’s set to be one of the most powerful people in Silicon Valley.

Here are six things you didn’t know about the new Apple retail boss.