News of the imminent departure of Gil Amelio and Ellen Hancock, Apple's undynamic duo, from the corridors of Cupertino, California, registered like a hurricane on my Skinnydar: big but not unexpected. Now that Doc Amelio has been juiced, the executive revolving door at Apple can get back to doing what it does best: spinning.
On Wednesday, I was burning for some disaster scene footage so I bum-rushed Apple's HQ with my Skinnycam, but a rent-a-cop nearly head-butted me and tried to take my ear off. With my A/V plans dashed, I retreated to the car phone and dispatched my minions into the core of the Cupe.
According to my Apple agents, there's rampant speculation--and a sizable office pool--at 1 Infinite Loop about Dr. G's next move. Some Applets think Gil is headed for the political arena and that a GOP run for the California governor's seat isn't out of the question. As much as they might want a turnaround artist, I'm not sure that California voters would cotton to an Amelio candidacy after his performance at Apple. Also in the apocryphal rumor category: Amelio has Parkinson's disease and is voluntarily retiring to nurse his waning health. But if this is true, it's a funny coincidence that Gil "decided" to step aside a week before the company's earnings announcement.
Other Appleheads were apparently too stunned to think about their next move. When one of my people asked Mac evangelista Guy Kawasaki in an email what he was planning to do post-Amelio, he responded. "I have no idea." Indeed.
Confidential to the geeks in the audience: Have you heard about the new font at Apple Computer? It's called Gil Sans. Bah-dum-dum! (This doozie comes from a former Apple employee.)
Apropos of Apple, there's an interesting rumor making the rounds on Usenet related to WebObjects, the Web programming tool Apple acquired from Next Software. The scuttlebutt is that Dell Computer used WebObjects (when Next was still independent from Apple) to build its Web site, including the online store where it rakes in more than $1.5 million a day in PC sales.
Enter Microsoft. I hear the Redmondians were eager to get Dell off of WebObjects and onto its BackOffice and Web development tool so it offered the company free software and consultants. The word is Dell, which was a tad squeamish about using an Apple development tool, decided to drink Microsoft's Kool-Aid, but the products weren't nearly as easy to use as WebObjects. C'est la vie. Such is my life that I never have enough rumors to quench my thirst. Help me out by showering me a few items when you really should be working.