Delbert W. Yocam, who lost his post as Apple Computer’s chief operating officer in a big shake-up in August, said Friday that he will leave the company in November, 1989, after 10 years of service.
The departure of Yocam, 44, sets up a two-man race at Apple to be No. 2 to John Sculley, 49, as chairman and chief executive, according to Apple watchers. The race also could determine who succeeds Sculley, who many in Silicon Valley speculate will leave Apple long before retirement age to take on another challenge.
The two contenders are Allan Z. Loren, 50, the Apple USA head who will immediately assume Yocam’s oversight of Apple’s education business, and Jean-Louis Gasse, 44, who, as head of Apple Products, is in charge of researching and developing new products.
Reorganization Forced Hand
Until his departure next year, Yocam will remain the head of Apple Pacific, which oversees Apple’s burgeoning Asian operations.
“Del continues to distinguish himself at Apple as one of the industry’s finest executives, with his commitment to operational excellence, passion for personal computer technology and embodiment of Apple’s business and cultural values,” Sculley said.
“This announcement underlines the fact that Del was the big loser in August’s reorganization,” said David Grady, editor of the Grady Report, a newsletter specializing in educational computing.
Yocam, who has been with Apple since almost its beginning, is most closely associated with the company’s Apple II machine. “Yocam has displayed a singular ability to grow markets and organizations,” said Sculley. Observers have described him as a “nice guy” and a “salt-of-the-earth type.”
Loren assumes responsibility for educational products at a time when the company’s Apple II models are set to face severe new competitive challenges.
Next Inc., Apple co-founder Steven Jobs’ new venture, plans to unveil its new educational computer in San Francisco Wednesday.
“Apple has a fundamental problem in the education market,” said Grady. “You can’t hang on to the old (Apple II) technology and advance at the same time,” he added.
Separately, Loren announced a reorganization within Apple USA that included the creation of three sales organizations and a marketing communications group.