Industry Week, Doug Bartholomew, March 16, 1999
Ex-Compaq exec Cook brings supply-chain religion to PC maker.
If you believe the common wisdom in the business press, Apple Computer Inc. was saved from being turned into cider by the return of cofounder Steve Jobs and the advent of a new product, the hot-selling iMac.
Truth be told, that’s only half the story. It’s a fact that in 1996-97, the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker lost nearly $1.9 billion. It’s also true that last year a 40% smaller Apple — a pared-down core of its 1996 self — earned $309 million, with the iMac representing about one-third of total Macintosh sales during the latest quarter.
But beneath all of the iMac’s new colors, what’s really driving Apple’s resurgence is a whole new strategy for manufacturing and supply-chain management conceived by a former Compaq Computer Corp. executive.