Gil Amelio's hard-hitting and frank account of his life as CEO of Apple Computer begins with this astonishing, never-before-revealed encounter. Five hundred tumultuous days later, Jobs himself would play a prominent role in influencing Apple's board of directors to fire Amelio.
On the Firing Line: My 500 Days at Apple is Gil Amelio's gripping and fast-paced recollection of what happened, told from his unique perspective as the occupant of Apple's hot seat. This is the revealing story of how a proven high-technology turnaround artist took on the biggest challenge of his career and perhaps his life.
Nothing could have prepared Amelio for the chaos that greeted him when he took over as CEO. First there was the reversal he suffered at the hands of the in-house legal staff from day one that rendered his highly touted compensation package a sham. Then, rapidly, came the spiraling maelstrom of problems financial, organizational and creative that threatened daily to sweep him and Apple into oblivion.
Amelio quickly uncovered the truth that the company was hemorrhaging both dollars and talent. He immediately plunged into a multifaceted rescue effort that included an extensive fund-raising campaign to solve Apple's cash-flow problem and fevered negotiations for a new Macintosh operating system with luminaries such as Jean-Louis Gassee, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs.
In his own words, Amelio exposes a company that continually undermines its own best efforts, with financial officers using out-of-date systems that take weeks to process the most elementary data and sales executives being accused of "channel stuffing" strong-arming retailers to buy computers they didn't need in order to make the company's quarterly sales look better.
In this compelling and highly readable story, Amelio gives credit where credit is due. But he also reaches beyond the damning headlines to candidly apportion blame for Apple's failures even when the person to blame is himself.
At once a frank revelation of the inner workings of Apple and a cautionary tale of business in today's changing marketplace, On the Firing Line is a must-read for Apple devotees and anyone interested in the politics of today's digital economy.
|Publisher:||Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated|
About the Author
William L. Simon is a bestselling author, Global business Book Award nominee, and winner of more than a dozen festival awards for his film and television writer. He lives in Rancho Santa Fe, California, with his wife, Arynne.