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Unflattering New Profile of Apple SVP Eddy Cue Calls Him ‘Over-Extended,’ ‘Bored’

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A new in-depth profile of Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services, paints an interesting picture for the longtime Apple employee.

The profile, published by The Information, describes Cue as a well-respected leader in the company, however incredibly over-extended to the point that he falls asleep in meetings. The Information‘s profile is apparently based on interviews with over two dozen people who have worked with him.

According to the profile, Cue is very much a “hands-off” type of leader, to the point where he nods off during meetings:

It is easy for Apple employees to tell when they have lost the attention of Eddy Cue, the leader of the company’s sprawling internet initiatives—from its music and video businesses to its maps service.

During meetings, Mr. Cue is sometimes known to fall silent, shut his eyes and tilt his head back, leaving other participants to wonder whether he is staring at the ceiling or sleeping, said several former Apple employees and one outside partner present on multiple occasions when it happened over the past few years. In at least two of these situations, Mr. Cue began snoring, one source said […]

Mr. Cue is described as a leader of intelligence and empathy, with a loyal following at Apple. But others who have worked with him say he seems overextended and, at important moments, has failed to intercede in conflicts.

While Apple’s Services sector has grown rapidly over the years, many believe that the Cupertino company has had to play catch-up to a number of companies due to squandered opportunities:

It squandered early opportunities to get into the streaming music and video businesses, forcing it to play catchup to Spotify, Netflix and Amazon. After entering the electronic books market to great fanfare, Apple has faded in the category. The Apple Maps service overseen by Mr. Cue is still viewed as a laggard behind Google Maps, while Apple has moved Siri—a once trendsetting intelligent assistant that has lost ground to Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant—out of Mr. Cue’s empire.

“I feel like the whole services business has been the biggest opportunity that Apple has misspent for the last ten years,” said James McQuivey, an analyst at technology research firm Forrester Research.

While Cue was indeed a well-respected leader, he seemed to be in and out as far as his leadership style, allowing conflicts to build within the projects he was in charge of:

As tensions mounted on the Apple Music team, Mr. Cue, who was known for his hands-off leadership style, was rarely seen by the team working on the project, said people working on the streaming service. “One downside with Eddy as a manager was that it’s unlikely for Eddy to mediate between warring factions,” said one former lieutenant. “If there were conflicts or tensions between groups, Eddy didn’t get involved.”

While he is generally well-liked, Mr. Cue doesn’t seem to bring the ideal attention or enthusiasm to his work at Apple:

From the moment he gained responsibility for Siri, Mr. Cue seemed to lack much interest in it, according to people who worked on the project. When Siri team members presented Mr. Cue with technical data around the performance of the assistant—an area of frequent criticism of the technology—Mr. Cue appeared bored and seemed to fell asleep in at least two meetings, said a former Apple employee who was present.

Read The Information‘s surprisingly frank profile here.

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