Businessweek’s lengthy profile on Apple’s youngest VP (of iOS software) Scott Forstall is full of little nuggets. Here are the best bits:
- Forstall’s older brother, Bruce, has been a senior software design engineer at Microsoft for 20 years; imagine the Thanksgiving dinner conversations.
- “He was as close to Steve as anybody at the company,” says Andy Miller, who headed Apple’s fledgling iAd group.
- Insiders say he has such a fraught relationship with other members of the executive team—including lead designer Jony Ive and Mac hardware chief Bob Mansfield—that they avoid meetings with him unless Tim Cook is present.
- He’s known to have a taste for the Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG, in silver, the same car Jobs drove and has a signature on-stage costume: black shoes, jeans, and a black zippered sweater. (He favors Reyn Spooner Hawaiian shirts for normal days at the office.)
- “I once referred to Scott as Apple’s chief a–hole,” says former Apple software engineer Mike Lee, who left the company in 2010. “And I meant it as a compliment.”
- “He knows what he wants, and he’s driven to get it,” says AT&T (T) Chief Technology Officer John Donovan. “He can be relentless about getting it.” “Scott’s a pretty amazing guy,” says Vic Gundotra, a senior vice-president at Google. “In terms of running an operating system team, he’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.”
- According to the story, iPod godfather Tony Fadell and Jean-Marie Hullot CTO of Apple’s application division until 2005 left Apple after clashing repeatedly with Forstall. Jon Rubinstein, a former iPod chief who left for Palm in 2006, chatted amiably at a Silicon Valley party last month, until Forstall’s name came up. Then he turned away abruptly. “Goodbye!” he said.
- He graduated high school as co-valedictorian with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. (His high school sweatheart/future wife was the other co-valedictorian.)
- Before the iPhone 4 went to market, Forstall persuaded Jobs to allow dozens of his engineers to carry prototypes of the device to better test its network performance and minimize dropped calls, says a former Apple employee who was a manager at the time. That’s how Gizmodo got ahold of it.
- Forstall has cashed in over $40 million in Apple Stock. Brian Marshall, an analyst at ISI Group, says that he would consider downgrading Apple stock if Forstall were to leave.
The idea is that Forstall isn’t quite a Steve Jobs, but he’s the closest all around package that Apple has.
Update: Fadell weighed in pretty much refuting BW’s portrayal of the situation
“I inherited the competitive iPhone OS project from Jon Rubenstein and Steve Sakoman when they left Apple. I quickly shuttered the project after assessing that a modified Mac OS was the right platform to build the iPhone upon. It was clear that to create the best smartphone product possible, we needed to leverage the decades of technology, tools and resources invested in Mac OS while avoiding the unnecessary competition of dueling projects.”