Apple Engineer iTerminated Over iPad - The UpStream

Apple Engineer iTerminated Over iPad

posted Sunday Apr 25, 2010 by Jon Wurm

Apple Engineer iTerminated Over iPad

One very excited and unlucky Apple engineer found himself iTerminated April 3rd after midnight during the iPad launch. Apparently the engineer was let go for showing Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak an iPad for 2 minutes, during which time he tried to replicate some of the things shown on the iPad web demo. Wozniak was the one who wanted to see the iPad but was told the engineer must wait until after midnight to take it out of the secure area. When he was talking about this situation with Jobs, he simply said, "so it's no big deal" and that was the end of it. Just last week another Apple employee, software engineer Gray Powell left his iPhone 4G prototype at a bar after drinking. Wozniak heard that Gray has not been fired for that indiscretion, speculating that it may not have violated Apple policy enough or did not cause harm to the company. With regards to the engineer let go for showing him the iPad Wozniak said,

I never knew him before. He resembled myself and Steve Jobs when we were that age, and my younger son who programs for NASA. He's a kind of person I would always enjoy talking with. A.J. said that he had an email allowing his team to use the iPad outside of secure areas on April 3 (after midnight, which A.J. waited for). I was surprised but he had an email. If I'd known it was a 3G model, which I didn't, I probably would have saved his job by telling him he can't show it. And he only showed it to me (and a few people who read Gizmodo).

Personally, it seems like Apple's code of secrecy is a bit over the top. Of course some secrecy is necessary given intense competition in the hardware and software markets but at the most A.J. (engineer fired over iPad incident) just made a simple mistake. There was no harm and no foul given the situation and for an engineer to be fired for such only creates an atmosphere of fear that will hamper the creative environment of the company. Given Wozniak's statement perhaps Apple is falling further away from the company it used to be.

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