A recent meeting of Apple executives was delayed for several minutes as CEO Steve Jobs attempted to ascertain whether Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Bertrand Serlet had brought enough gum for everyone.
Shortly after the meeting began, Jobs noticed Serlet was enjoying a stick of Fruit Stripe bubble gum and brought the proceedings to an immediate halt.
“Steve began questioning Bertrand,” Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said. “He never raised his voice or openly expressed any annoyance, but you could tell he was sending a message.”
While Jobs’ inquiry centered around whether or not Serlet had “brought enough for everyone”, some in the room felt his real point pertained to the simple fact that Serlet was chewing gum during an executive meeting. Jobs, however, demurred from such an interpretation.
“I was merely concerned for those in the group who might also like a nice stick of Fruit Stripe,” Jobs said after the meeting had adjourned. “It can be quite distracting to see someone so clearly in the throes of pure chewing satisfaction and to not be able to partake yourself. Consequently, I asked Bertrand if he had brought enough for everyone.
“To conclude I was making a point about his decision to pop a stick of gum into his mouth before entering an executive meeting during which we discuss numerous issues of importance to the future of this company is specious speculation.”
According to those present, Serlet was forced to admit that he did not, in fact, bring enough for everyone.
Pausing for several moments, Jobs said simply “I see.” He then held out a trash can into which Serlet spit his gum.
This marks the second disruption of an Apple executive meeting since the beginning of the year. The first coming when Jobs confiscated a comic book from Senior Vice President of Retail Ron Johnson, informing him he would get it back at the end of the fiscal quarter.