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Rachel Elkington – Apple Corporation

by on October 1, 2007

Organization Description (Apple)
Apple Corporation (Formerly Apple Computers) was originally a successful company from the initial start-up. However, in 1985, the board of directors fired Steve Jobs and replaced him first with John Sculley, and then Jean-Louis Gassee.

The Change Management Effort (Apple)
Following the firing of Jobs, Apple went though what later came to be known as the ‘dire years.’ Once a competitive and innovate company, it sank to mediocrity. It was not successful in competing against the Personal Computer (PC), and failed to introduce new, innovative, or even profitable products to the market. In 1997 Apple rehired Jobs, who then undertook to completely change the organization to make it profitable and viable again.

Jobs decided to make a deal with Microsoft to forget patent claims in exchange for $150 million and a promise that Microsoft would continue to make a Mac compatible version of office. Jobs also launched the iPod project – a branded, heavily style-conscious MP3 player that would run on any computer but use Apple software. The iPod enjoyed success, but instead of resting there, Jobs took the initiative to launch the iPhone, an expansion of the iPod brand and concept.

Outcomes (Apple)
Apple has done incredibly well since Jobs climbed back on board. It has huge market share with the iPod, and all of the Apple products have enjoyed a renaissance of cool. Though the Apple computer itself still has a very small market share compared with the ubiquity of the PC, it has been steadily climbing for the past several years.

1. http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/jun2007/id20070627_004206.htm?chan=search
2.http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/jun2007/tc20070627_285624.htm?chan=search
3. http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/jan2006/tc20060109_432937.htm?chan=search

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