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ETEC 522 The Business of eLearning

The Phoenix Effect
An Environmental Analysis of Apple Inc.

Jeff Miller, Alan Doree,

David Vogt, Bruce Stewart

Jerry BleeckeR

MET Program

University of British Columbia

October 22, 2004

Introduction – “As Bad as it Gets”

The year was 1985. Apple Inc., the industry leader in the personal computer industry was bleeding money and floundering in a market it had once dominated. Shares in Apple were trading at an all time low of $7. The company had just announced its first layoff in history and1200 employees were being let go (Goodell, 1996). To make matters worse, Steve Jobs, Apple’s visionary leader had just lost control of the company to John Scully, the former CEO of Pepsi Cola, in a boardroom show down. Jobs was too erratic, it was claimed, and Apple required more steady leadership. Eleven years and two CEO’s later, Apple had still not recovered and teetered on the brink of extinction. It had lost was more than half its market share, and the company now only commanded only 16.5% of sales (Whelan, 98). In addition, it had just posted a $708 million fourth quarter loss and announced a reduction of one-third of its workforce for the second quarter (Goodell, 1996). A shadow of its former self, Apple needed a miracle. It needed a strategic vision and new direction. Ironically, this arrived with the acquisition of NeXT Step Computers Inc. in 1997 and its CEO, Steve Jobs. So, how did the company that invented the personal computer find itself in this situation, and how did it recover? An environmental analysis of Apple’s corporate history will examine the reasons including its competition with Microsoft, leadership changes, predatorial marketing and pricing practices, and...

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