The streets of Tony Fadell and those of Apple are definitively separated. The closure of the relationship between Cupertino and the father of the iPod was announced yesterday by an article in the New York Times from which it is learned that the consultancy bond between Fadell and Mela has also formally ended.
Fadell had in fact abandoned all operational assignments in late 2008 when his role within Apple had been canceled in the context of a restructuring that had led Mark Papermaster from IBM to Cupertino where he now deals with mobile devices. In this new sector had joined the group that took care of the development of the iPod headed by Tony Fadell
Like Jon Rubinstein, another important executive to have left Apple, Fadell was placed in a sort of gilded cage before the final removal, giving him the role of consultant, a non-operating but very well-paid role that allowed to sterilize his knowledge in terms of research and development on what is happening and will happen within Apple. The very common practice in American companies that need confidentiality; a year and a half after the last meetings, Fadell is now reasonably unaware of the most future and innovative projects to be left free to go and bring his talent elsewhere.
About his departure from Apple, it is difficult to say whether the egg or the hen came first. Whether Fadell has gone away for the choice, in fact, to downgrade iPod to one of the different mobility devices or if it was the choice to abandon Apple assumed by Fadell to determine the restructuring, moving iPod in a subordinate role to the iPhone and now iPad. What is certain is that the departure of the technician and inventor who had first, when he was still working as an independent entrepreneur, the idea of making a music player, one of the most relevant managerial facts of recent years in Apple, on a par of the aforementioned abandonment of Jon Rubinstein. In addition to using the profile of leadership, we are faced with a fact also to be noted symbolically; in fact, it marks a probably irreversible turning point that is leading iPod, once a flagship product for Apple, to a scenario where it will not have a strategic role but that of satisfying the needs of a specific niche, leaving the older brothers, iPod touch, iPhone and iPad , the limelight.
Now Fadell will consult, read in the New York Times, for other Silicon Valley companies and invest the money earned in Apple and with iPod to grow startups in the ecological sector and eco-compatible technologies.