Global CIO: A Secret Letter To Apple's Steve Jobs From Senator Schumer - InformationWeek
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8/10/2010
06:52 PM
Bob Evans
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Global CIO: A Secret Letter To Apple's Steve Jobs From Senator Schumer

In which our unctuous politician, giddy over the Antennagate axing of an Apple exec, sends a followup letter loaded with advice for his new BFF.

(Editor's note: I was having a tofu burger with beets at the TGI Friday's adjacent to Apple's Cupertino campus the other day when two guys in black suits, black sunglasses, and squiggly wires in their ears came over and handed me an envelop containing this letter. They said it's from "The Senator" and told me not to try to follow them. While I can't confirm that the senator in question is indeed Senator Schumer, the envelop also contained several solicitations to his re-election campaign—and where I come from, that's more than enough proof.)

Dear Steve:

I was pleased—not surprised, but pleased—to see your early and decisive reactions to my recent letter to you about your attempts to brainwash the American public with your new iPhone 4.

And while I think it's great that you fired that senior vice-president who was behind the whole thing that I happen to view as a deep-rooted, widespread, and possibly global conspiracy, I'm certain you agree with my belief that that dismissal is only the beginning of the purge that you and I need to work on to ensure no one at Apple—or any company on the planet—ever, ever tries this sort of thing again.

In fact, Steve, I'd like to fly out to Cupertino (can I stay over at your house? And maybe you could invite your friend Larry Ellison over and—forgive me for appearing pushy—we could go for a ride on his yacht? I promise—cross my heart—not to make any overt fund-raising appeals) and sit with your HR people for a while and review all personnel records for this guy you fired, and all those of everybody at Apple who ever worked for, with, or around him, and everybody on his Tweeter lists.

Because, Steve, while I believe the old line about how one bad Apple doesn't spoil the whole bunch (get it? One bad "Apple"??), my experience as a prosecutor persuades me to see conspiracies under every rock, and boy oh boyzee you sure turned over a big one with this Antennagate thing.

In fact, some of my senatorial colleagues suggested to me that we should think about shutting down the whole iPhone 4 division until we can get some answers and determine who knew what and when they knew it.

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I told my fellow senators I'd talk to my friend Steve about that (maybe we'll get Larry's input as well?) and let them know. I'm just back-of-the-enveloping this but my ballparking tells me we'd only have to curtail your operations for about 9 or 12 months while we subpoena all of your employees in R&D, marketing, engineering, software development, sales, legal, and purchasing. If that's the price it takes for the American people to view me as their public advocate, sticking his head into the lion's jaws, well then I'm sure you'll agree it's a small price to pay, right, Steverino?

Now let me quickly jump ahead to a few other to-do items I want you to pursue. As you'll recall from my earlier letter (and Steve: maybe your reply got lost in the mail—because I do get tons of fan mail—but I'm a little concerned that maybe you never actually wrote a formal reply to my original letter—anyhoo, hop to it and get your correspondence people to send a formal reply to my correspondence people), I expressed a number of other "deep concerns" about your operations—which, I should point out, come across as a tad more commercial and profit-oriented than I think we want Apple to appear—and floated a number of strong recommendations (let's think of them as "new policies") that I'd like you to be sure to handle personally and pronto. Here's the list from my original letter:

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