Coulda Been A Contender (1/24/00)

Speaking of cast members that leave the show (this segue brought to you by Just Segues: textual transitions for all your dramatic needs!), do you ever reminisce about good ol' Gil Amelio? You remember Gil-- he played Apple's CEO until Steve Jobs took over the role following a bloody boardroom coup. Gil's probably best remembered for just how poorly he managed to integrate his suit-wearing self into Apple's blue-jeans environment. And for a guy who was brought in as a turnaround specialist, we sure didn't see much turning around.

Anyway, Gil's back in the public eye. Faithful viewer John Haytol pointed us towards a BusinessWeek Online interview in which Gil says-- and we quote-- "[Steve's] done great, but I should get all the credit for making [his work] possible." In fact, he even takes credit for Apple's current business strategy: "In the spring of 1996, I wrote a white paper on Apple's strategy. That's the strategy they're pursuing now." Apparently Ol' Gil's problem was simply that he was years ahead of his time. A true visionary. As such, he's eminently qualified to comment on Steve's recent plane-and-stock-options bonus package: "I think that's an absurd number. That is an unreal amount. I'm stunned... That's not good corporate governance." Certainly not as good as, say, stuffing the channel and playing with numbers to give Apple a $12 million quarterly profit in order to qualify for a year-end bonus, right, Gil?

We'll grant him this much: Gil did buy NeXT and he did bring Steve back to Apple, and for that we're grateful. And we're aware that several AtAT viewers rate Gil somewhat highly for supposedly laying the groundwork for everything that Steve actually accomplished-- we'll leave that judgment call up to you. Still, we can't help but think Gil's eating lots of sour grapes... and maybe an overdose is what's giving him Delusions of Competence. His biggest complaint seems to be that Apple canned him after a year and a half, when he thinks he could have really made a difference if he'd have just had three full years. Personally, we shudder to think what Apple's product line would be like today if Gil were still in charge-- probably boxy, beige, and running Windows. Assuming, of course, that Apple would even still be around...

SceneLink (2051)
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The above scene was taken from the 1/24/00 episode:

January 24, 2000: Our farewell to Hanoch Shalit may have been a tad premature; it's time to appeal! Meanwhile, a doughy face from the past tries to take credit for Steve Jobs's remarkable turnaround, and CompUSA dons a sombrero as new management from south of the border aims to bring the superstore chain back from the brink of irrelevancy...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2050: "They Killed Hanoch!" (1/24/00)   Silly us! Yesterday we bade adieu to Dr. Hanoch Shalit, an occasional AtAT cast member for the better part of two years by virtue of his dramatically overinflated $1.1 billion patent infringement lawsuit against Apple...

  • 2052: Under New Management (1/24/00)   Longtime viewers will know that we at AtAT aren't huge fans of CompUSA. Actually, that's not entirely accurate: we don't really have so much of a problem with CompUSA itself. Our beef is with the CompUSA buying experience, which in many cases is tantamount to exfoliating with a cheese grater while rolling in salt...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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