The story goes that Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, was trying to poach new head of Motorola, Dennis Woodside, from Google to be Head of Sales at Apple.
But then Larry Page asked Woodside to be the next Steve Jobs.
If there’s one thing I learned from reading the Jobs biography, it’s that in order to build a company that makes great products you’ve got to be a “products guy”. Jobs himself said that Cook wasn’t the type, oddly. Is Woodside? One thinks perhaps not:
Woodside, 43, is an Ironman triathlete with a law degree from Stanford but little experience building hardware or software. He admits to catching up only recently on such technologies as mobile-phone processors.
The focus on engineering credentials, Steve Jobs might say, is beside the point. Does he ‘get’ what great products are? Can he drive people to fill a pipeline with awesome products, which everyone is worried will be Tim Cook’s failure?
It’s an audacious move, but a necessary one, probably. Apple has shown that the strategy of marrying hardware and software was as big a loser for PCs as a winner for mobile.
And one couldn’t imagine Facebook making or pulling off a similar move. So the lines are drawn: Apple vs Google for global technological hegemony.