Former Wall Street Journal technology reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane delves deep inside Apple in the two years since Steve Jobs’s death, revealing the tensions and challenges CEO Tim Cook and his team face as they try to sustain Jobs’s vision and keep the company moving forward.
Steve Jobs's death raised one of the most pressing questions in the tech and business worlds: Could Apple stay great without its iconic leader? Many inside the company were eager to prove that Apple could be just as innovative as it had been under Jobs. Others were painfully aware of the immense challenge ahead. As its business has become more complex and global, Apple has come under intense scrutiny, much of it critical. Maintaining market leadership has become crucial as it tries to conquer new frontiers and satisfy the public's insatiable appetite for "insanely great” products.
Based on over two hundred interviews with current and former executives, business partners, Apple watchers and others, Haunted Empire is an illuminating portrait of Apple today that offers clues to its future. With nuanced insights and colorful details that only a seasoned journalist could glean, Kane goes beyond the myths and headlines. She explores Tim Cook’s leadership and its impact on Jobs’s loyal lieutenants, new product development, and Apple’s relationships with Wall Street, the government, tech rivals, suppliers, the media, and consumers.
Hard-hitting yet fair, Haunted Empire reveals the perils and opportunities an iconic company faces when it loses its visionary leader.
The globe-bestriding computer-maker loses its soul in this lively business history. Former Wall Street Journal technology reporter Kane follows Apple after the 2011 death of founder Steve Jobs as the company's knack for conjuring breakthrough i-gadgets lapsed into a series of ho-hum upgrades, misfires like the befuddled artificial intelligence app Siri, and interminable patent lawsuits, while market share, profits, and stock price eroded. Kane makes the story a study in CEO leadership styles, contrasting Jobs's visionary bluster with his successor Tim Cook's icy bean-counting and the histrionics of Samsung's "wise emperor" Lee Kun-hee, whose quality crusade involved burning an entire factory's inventory in front of its weeping employees. Kane unearths plenty of colorful material here, including lawyerly jousting, hilariously lame new-product unveilings, and conference-room psychodramas between bullying execs and groveling underlings. The author's great-man theory of Jobs's "unfiltered" leadership as the indispensable motor of Apple's innovation doesn't explain much; her unusually rich dissection of Apple's ugly dealings with its FoxConn manufacturing partner suggests that Cook's merciless wringing of profits out of exploited Chinese labor is as much the soul of Apple as Jobs's oft-hyped intuition for design. Still, this well-paced, vividly detailed narrative reveals the machine surrounding the Jobsian ghost at Apple and brings the company's high-flying mythology down to earth.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The author is on to something, change the company to Microsoft and resell. Or change to IBM and resell. This book does not add value and insight to the historical record that anyone could have researched. A waste of time to read.
More of the same "doom on Apple" drivel
It's a pity that Ms. Kane resorted to such cheap PR tactics in an effort to sale more books. I used to enjoy her work in the Journal, but this book veers far from offering an objective lens of the current state of Apple.
She posits that Apple no longer innovates; well, she must be obtuse or oblivious to the release of the new Mac Pro last year. What about the new iPad Air? It is significantly smaller, 40 % lighter, more powerful, and has increased battery life all at the same time.
This is more of the same "doom on Apple" drivel that people have been composing since the late 90s.
With Jony Ive and his small team of designers pushing the envelope in materials, methods, and manufacturing, the best years for Apple lie ahead.
Unorganized and Poorly Written
No real premise. First part of the book had some interesting insight into Apple and the personalities. The rest of the book became a complete hit piece filled with personal opinion with little fact. Pretty sad this individual was employed at WSJ. Maybe there is a reason she no longer works there; obviously needs an editor.