Wall St. Journal

iPhone 4 executive lost Steve Jobs' confidence months ago

August 9, 2010: 7:19 AM ET

Mark Papermaster's fate was sealed long before antennagate, according to Wall St. Journal

Papermaster. Photo: Apple Inc.

Here's what we have learned about the departure of the Apple (AAPL) senior vice president Mark Papermaster, the man in charge of the iPhone 4, since the New York Times reported Saturday that he had left the company.

  • He did not leave Apple voluntarily. "From what I've heard, it's clear he was sacked," writes Daring Fireball's John Gruber, citing an unnamed source within the company. Insiders had referred to Mark Papermaster, a former IBM (IBM) executive who joined Apple in April 2009, as "the guy responsible for the antenna." But according to Gruber, Apple does not have a "one mistake and you're fired" culture -- unless the mistake is big enough -- and the decision to give the iPhone 4 its controversial external antenna was made long before Papermaster came to Apple.
  • He had a "falling out" with Steve Jobs. Citing several unnamed people "familiar with Papermaster's situation," the Wall St. Journal reports in Monday's edition that his departure was "driven by a broader cultural incompatibility... Mr. Papermaster had lost the confidence of Mr. Jobs months ago and hasn't been part of the decision-making process for some time, these people said."

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