Tea Party Senators and a conservative newspaper came -- briefly -- to Apple's defense.
FORTUNE -- Steve Jobs wasn't given to making political statements, but he did send signals: He dated Joan Baez, he toasted Barack Obama and, according to Walter Isaacson's biography, he chewed out Rupert Murdoch privately for letting Fox News become "an incredibly destructive force in our society."
But when Tim Cook testified before a Senate subcommittee about Apple's (AAPL) taxes, it was a Democrat, Carl Levin, who gave Jobs' successor the hardest time, and two Republicans elected with Tea Party support -- Ron Johnson and Rand Paul -- who came to his defense. ("I'm offended by the tone of these hearings," said Sen. Paul, "Apple has done more to enrich people's lives than politicians will ever do.")
Perhaps Apple's most surprising support after the hearing came from the Washington Examiner, a free daily newspaper owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschultz and described by Politico as "a megaphone for [Anschutz's] right-wing views on taxes, national security and President Barack Obama." Under the headline "Apple becomes latest target of the Beltway Shakedown" columnist Tim Carney wrote:
"The grilling of Apple is best understood as a shakedown by politicians upset with Apple for not playing the Washington game that yields contributions, power, and personal wealth for congressmen and their aides.
"Apple doesn't have a political action committee to fund incumbents' re-elections. Apple doesn't hire many congressional staff or any former congressmen as lobbyists. Apple mostly minds its own business -- and how does that help the political class?"
In this context, the appointment this week of former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson as Apple's vice president for environmental initiatives could have a double effect. She's a Beltway insider who could give the company access to the corridors of power. And as a long-time scourge of conservative columnists who saw her as "tyrant" and an "especially abusive and willful regulator" (to quote the Wall Street Journal), she could shake loose Apple's support from the right.
"Her EPA specialty was imposing rules regardless of costs, while stretching 'benefits' with doughy concepts such as economic redistribution and alleviating racial grievances," wrote the Journal's Joseph Rago in Thursday's paper. "Then again, with roughly $145 billion of cash on hand, Apple may be the only U.S. company rich enough to afford Ms. Jackson."
Also: JC Penney ousts former Apple store chief Ron Johnson.
Microsoft planning Xbox event for May [THE VERGE]
Sources familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans have revealed that the event will be at a small venue with a focus on providing the very first details on the next Xbox, codenamed Durango, and Microsoft's plans for Xbox in 2013. Recent rumors have focused on reports that Microsoft's next Xbox may require an always-on internet connection. Comments MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Apr 9, 2013 3:00 AM ET
Fixing a broken retail business turns out to be a lot harder than building a new one.
FORTUNE -- Ron Johnson, the former Target (TGT) manager who tried to save the ailing J.C. Penney (JCP) using lessons he learned building Apple's (AAPL) retail empire was fired Monday.
CNBC had the scoop and the Wall Street Journal confirmed it.
"I've always dreamed of leading a major retail company as CEO," Johnson said when the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 8, 2013 6:06 PM ET
AT&T's new shared data plans just won't work; why the DOJ should drop its e-books suit against Apple.
JC Penney CEO: It may get worse before it gets better [FORTUNE]
Johnson also highlighted some of the improvements he is making in the stores. He announced that JC Penney had scrapped an outdated technology infrastructure and replaced it with an Oracle-based system. The new technology will allow the company to improve the in-store MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Jul 19, 2012 5:00 AM ET
JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson addressed his naysayers at Fortune Brainstorm Tech. The transformation of the embattled retailer has only just begun.
FORTUNE -- Ron Johnson's experience building and running Apple's (AAPL) formidable retail operation was formative. It taught him to think differently and to stick to his convictions even in the face of adversity.
Now Johnson is applying these lessons to the challenging task of turning around JC Penney (JCP), the MOREMiguel Helft, senior writer - Jul 18, 2012 12:45 PM ET
Tim Cook taps John Browett, CEO of Dixons, to head his retail empire
Ron Johnson, the former Target (TGT) whiz kid who built more than 300 Apple Stores for Steve Jobs, left a gaping hole in Apple's (AAPL) management team when he departed last year to run J.C. Penney (JCP). During his seven and a half years with the company, Johnson's stores became Apple's public face -- clean, well-lighted places where MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 31, 2012 8:07 AM ET
In survey, 16% of school tech directors expect to have 1 tablet per student within 5 years
Whether counting heads at the Apple Store or buttonholing cell phone users at the Mall of America, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster is the master of the small survey that may or may not be significant.
His latest: A survey of 25 educational technology directors at a conference on integrating technology in the classroom. "While our sample MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 31, 2011 4:30 AM ET
It was a wheel that revolved around Steve Jobs. How will it change under Tim Cook?
One of my favorite elements in Adam Lashinsky's How Apple Works -- the "inside" story that created a sensation when it appeared in the May 23 issue of Fortune but was made fully available online only last week -- was the organization chart assembled by Fortune's graphics team under the guidance of senior research editor Doris MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 29, 2011 7:51 AM ET
The high-tech wundercompany landed not only on our street corners and in our malls, but also on the top 10 of Fortune's Most Admired Companies.
Editor's note: This article appeared in the March 8, 2007 issue of Fortune magazine.
By Jerry Useem
FORTUNE -- "Sorry Steve, Here's Why Apple Stores Won't Work," BusinessWeek wrote with great certainty in 2001. "It's desperation time in Cupertino, Calif.," opined TheStreet.com. "I give [Apple] two years MOREAug 26, 2011 5:00 AM ET
Hint: See the head shot, center row left, in the current "Apple Leadership" page
Jean-Louis Gassée, who worked for Apple from 1981 to 1990 and once held Steve Jobs' job as head of Mac development, was planning to use the Apple Store's 10th anniversary last May as the theme for one of his always insightful Monday Note columns. But when the day came and went without an Apple-sized splash, he sensed MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 17, 2011 7:04 PM ET
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