July 9, 1997: Dr. Gil Amelio Resigns
When someone asks, "Who saved Apple?" the knee jerk reaction is to give all the credit to Steve Jobs. That answer leaves out a crucial part of the equation: who brought Steve back?
The answer to the second question is: Dr. Gil Amelio. Dr.Amelio had taken the reins at Apple when the woeful Michael Spindler was ousted and made sweeping changes. He cut Apple's staff by a third, killed the Copland project and bought NeXT for 400 million dollars (which, not incidentally, happened to have Steve Jobs as the CEO). Pundits opined that Dr. Amelio had "loaded the bases" for Steve who drove the runners home.
While the Amelio tenure may have set the stage for Steve Jobs' later successes, it did have a downside. Board members were upset with the low stock price, record losses (though Dr. Amelio left Apple with much more cash than when he arrived), failure to sell Apple to another company and the less than impressive marketing. Dr. Amelio's resignation concluded with the following passage:
"I lovingly leave Apple in your care. Good luck, I'll be cheering from the sidelines."
Dr. Amelio sent the letter to Apple employees on July 9, 1997.