How An Apple Employee Said NO To Steve Jobs And Got Promoted Instead Of Getting Fired


Donna DubinskyShort Bytes: Donna Dubinsky, in 1985, was a middle manager at Apple. The same year, Steve Jobs proposed completely changing the company’s distribution strategy. Donna Dubinsky did not like the idea of Steve Jobs. So, against the plan, she, rather, gave an ultimatum that she would quit.

It all happened like this: Steve Jobs proposed the elimination of all of the six US warehouses and dropping their inventory. The company was planning to move to a just-in-time production system in which computers would be assembled upon order and overnighted by FedEx.

One the other hand, Donna Dubinsky thought this was a colossal mistake. According to her, Apple’s success was also largely dependent on distribution being successful.

In 1985, Apple’s corporate culture was not doing well. Steve Jobs was trying his best to take the ultimate control of the company from the then-CEO, John Scully. Steve jobs also considered the Macintosh project to be the future of Apple.

Also read: 20 Surprising Facts About Apple That You Probably Didn’t Know

Part of the Macintosh project was building a state of the art factory that would also distribute Apple computers. When a customer ordered a computer, the factory would then build the new Mac and ship it overnight. Steve Jobs was the mastermind behind this plan which Donna Dubinsky found severely flawed.

Within next 30 days, she produced a counterargument and she was promoted to a senior management position running an Apple software subsidiary. After leaving Apple in 1991, she eventually became CEO of Palm Computing, and later founded Handspring, which created one of the first smartphones, the Treo, in 2002.

Also read: Who Were the First 10 Employees Of Apple and What Happened to Them?

Amar Shekhar

Amar Shekhar

A passionate adventure traveller over and Author of the book 'The Girl from the Woods'.
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