Hancock speaks

Summary:Ellen Hancock says that, given the opportunity, she would serve as Apple CEO. In an exclusive interview today from her home in Connecticut, Apple's former technology chief also stressed that the company will need both a customer- and technology-focused leader.

Ellen Hancock says that, given the opportunity, she would serve as Apple CEO.

In an exclusive interview today from her home in Connecticut, Apple's former technology chief also stressed that the company will need both a customer- and technology-focused leader.

Hancock, who joined Apple last summer as chief technical officer and became executive vice president of advanced technology in February's reorganization, said that the departure of Chairman and CEO Gilbert Amelio influenced her decision to leave.

"Given the new leadership of the company, particularly with Steve [Jobs], ... there was certainly a diminished role for me," Hancock said. "I had already taken a lighter position in the [February] reorganization, so it made sense for me to leave."

Hancock, whose resignation came almost exactly a year after she joined Apple, cautioned the company's new leadership to stay focused on key markets.

"I hope with these changes that Apple does not lose sight of its own market and does not twist it to become the NeXT market," she said. Hancock added that a focus on enterprise computing would be "a mistake. That was not the purpose of the acquisition; the purpose was not to increase the NeXT market.

"There still is work ahead of the team to really understand more fully the Mac customer and the Mac developer community, and to make sure that the technology that we bought really matches our market," she said.

What Apple needs in a new CEO, Hancock said, is someone who both understands Apple employees and can be a "visible and articulate" leader. "The person has got to be someone who can rally the troops and strike confidence in the employees and developers, a strong leader in both marketing and technology. At the end of the day, Apple is primarily a technology company."

Hancock characterized her tenure at Apple as "a very valuable experience. I'm walking away with a very strong and very good feeling about the relationships that I established with people at Apple. It was a difficult time, but I learned a lot. The people at Apple ... were very gracious about spending their time with me, sharing their views.

"I do believe I was instrumental in establishing the current Mac OS track, which wasn't there when I showed up there at all," Hancock said. She cited timely delivery of operating system updates and the cancellation of the Copland OS as two examples of her contribution to Apple's OS efforts. "I feel very good about repositioning the Mac OS," she said.

Hancock said that although she is taking some time off, "I don't think I'm through. I think you'll see me back, hopefully some place that I really like."

Ellen Hancock says that, given the opportunity, she would serve as Apple CEO.

In an exclusive interview today from her home in Connecticut, Apple's former technology chief also stressed that the company will need both a customer- and technology-focused leader.

Hancock, who joined Apple last summer as chief technical officer and became executive vice president of advanced technology in February's reorganization, said that the departure of Chairman and CEO Gilbert Amelio influenced her decision to leave.

"Given the new leadership of the company, particularly with Steve [Jobs], ... there was certainly a diminished role for me," Hancock said. "I had already taken a lighter position in the [February] reorganization, so it made sense for me to leave."

Hancock, whose resignation came almost exactly a year after she joined Apple, cautioned the company's new leadership to stay focused on key markets.

"I hope with these changes that Apple does not lose sight of its own market and does not twist it to become the NeXT market," she said. Hancock added that a focus on enterprise computing would be "a mistake. That was not the purpose of the acquisition; the purpose was not to increase the NeXT market.

"There still is work ahead of the team to really understand more fully the Mac customer and the Mac developer community, and to make sure that the technology that we bought really matches our market," she said.

What Apple needs in a new CEO, Hancock said, is someone who both understands Apple employees and can be a "visible and articulate" leader. "The person has got to be someone who can rally the troops and strike confidence in the employees and developers, a strong leader in both marketing and technology. At the end of the day, Apple is primarily a technology company."

Hancock characterized her tenure at Apple as "a very valuable experience. I'm walking away with a very strong and very good feeling about the relationships that I established with people at Apple. It was a difficult time, but I learned a lot. The people at Apple ... were very gracious about spending their time with me, sharing their views.

"I do believe I was instrumental in establishing the current Mac OS track, which wasn't there when I showed up there at all," Hancock said. She cited timely delivery of operating system updates and the cancellation of the Copland OS as two examples of her contribution to Apple's OS efforts. "I feel very good about repositioning the Mac OS," she said.

Hancock said that although she is taking some time off, "I don't think I'm through. I think you'll see me back, hopefully some place that I really like."

Topics: Apple, Operating Systems

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