24 May 07Jobs Conducts Enigmatic Firing.

Just three weeks before Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Jobs conducted a firing today that has many followers scratching their heads.

As close followers of Apple know, the name of every person Steve Jobs has fired is an anagram for the next product the company releases or updates. In December of last year, Jobs fired engineer Al Pheppilone, whose name is, of course, an anagram for Apple iPhone.

The problem? The name of the engineer Jobs fired today is Xerxes Ng.

“Uh, well, OK, uh,” began Daring Fireball’s John Gruber. “Oh! It’s, uh, X-Ser… uh, no. How about Sex… well, probably not…

“No, wait! It’s X-Ser… oh, no, wait, I tried that.”

“Maybe we should ask [the New York Times’ David] Pogue. Does the Times have a Jumble?”

For his part, Pogue was simply incredulous.

“What the hell kind of a name is Xerxes Ng anyway?!” Pogue demanded. “I mean, the guy’s half Persian half Vietnamese? Why the hell couldn’t Jobs have fired that dude named Mac Proboko? I mean, he’s a total slacker.”

Apple followers are now watching the company closely in the hopes that Jobs will fire someone with at least a few more vowels in the weeks between now and WWDC.

43 Responses to “Jobs Conducts Enigmatic Firing.”

  1. PoisedNoise says:

    Mac Proboko. Love it.

    ….and yeah, he is a slacker.

  2. PoisedNoise says:

    Kind of like others with their posts this morning. 😛

  3. Carbonfish says:

    Probably two, but I’m hoping for THREE! Then I’ll read the evenings amusements.

  4. ryan says:

    is this FORE!!!!!!!

  5. Carbonfish says:

    Dammit Moltz, I’m terrible at anagrams. Now I’ll be up all night trying to figure out if you’ve hidden some clever message in your post tonight, or if it’s just humorous gibberish.

  6. Drew Thaler says:

    OOOH!! Does this mean I’m going to finally get the Sex Grex’n that I’ve been waiting for!?

  7. Bandar the Invinsible says:

    I could have sworn there was an employee with a name composed entirely of vowels. Anyone recall?

  8. Carbonfish says:

    The moca bork thing wasn’t an answer to Bandar’s question… It just worked out that way.


  9. 2000guitars says:

    It’s aaaaaooooooeeeiiiiaaa– incidentally, also the noise he made, when he was fired…

  10. Nxxx says:

    Your problem is that you are only thinking in English, well American English in your case, however, in a little known South East Europe dialect of Serbo-Croat, the name alone is the nastiest dirty joke I’ve ever heard.

  11. harriet says:

    Al Peppilone is missing an H to be the anagram of Apple iPhone

    What kind of unreliable journalism is this? Are you just making things up?

  12. John Moltz says:


    Well, pretty much the kind of journalism you’ve come to expect from us.

  13. Mac Proboko says:

    David Pogue is on my list.

    PoisedNoise, too.

    Call me a slacker, huh? You’re messin’ with the wrong guy!

    I’ll have my vengeance, oh, yes. But it won’t come right away. No, there’s all the Memorial Day stuff this weekend, then we’re going to Toronto for Jamie’s wedding in late June, and we’ll be busy getting ready for that until then. Then Independence Day, and then we’re taking the twins to DisneyWorld for their birthday. That’s gonna take a lot out of me, so let’s rule out the first couple weeks of August. But come mid-August, or maybe sometime in September or October or thereabouts, I’ll have my vengeance.

    Wait — October’s out. That’s Leopard. Then it’s November and into the holidays…

    Okay, okay… I can’t give you a date, but take it from me — my vengeance will be swift and certain.

  14. redeyebase says:

    Well, i’m so glad i found a typo tonight. last night was impeccable.

    Moltz: “Jobs conducting a firing today” is he conducting? or did he conduct?

    Thank you. I’ll take generation gaps for 10, alex.

  15. harriet says:

    I hate to say this, but Al Pheppilone has an L too much to be an anagram of the Apple iPhone.

    Do I get banned now? Finally?

  16. Xerxes NG says:

    I got fired? Oh no! Now I’ll never be able to finish the prototype of the X-Gen… ouch! Steve, stop hitting me!

  17. Streetrabbit says:

    Fact: The Beatles sacked Pete Best just before releasing their smash single ‘Step Beet’

    Being that left only four Beatles John Lennon, the genius that he was, realised the folly of continuing such a practice.

    Sacking employees who’s names are anagrams of upcoming products is so yesterday’s HR strategy.

    Move on Jobs….just move on.

  18. I'm too sexy for my shirt says:

    SexGen XR
    Sex’n Rex G
    Rex’n Sex G
    Sex NX Reg

    … uh, doesn’t really sound like an iGasm, does it?

  19. r says:

    Just where do you make this shit up?

    What are you on?

    Can I have some?


  20. J0n says:

    John Moltz,

    My congratulations to you on one of your top efforts to date!

    (Ignore those who are carping over “not enough of this letter, or too many of that letter”.)

  21. Streetrabbit says:

    Sex’n Rex G?

    Isn’t he that septuagenarian rap artist?

  22. Steve G. says:

    I think Steve should fire Balboa Sixteen Jinns.
    That would be Lesbian Ninja Sexbot. Via Internet Anagram Server.

    Oh, and with #23 you get Mattingly.

  23. Xerxes NG says:

    Oh my, Steve just fired Pascal Do Tinno. He reminded him of the option scandal.

    Thanks Steve G, for mentioning Internet Anagram Server 😉

  24. Doc Wolfram says:

    Option scandal? Are you sure it wasn’t a scalp donation?
    No, wait…

    Who knew???

  25. Pascal Do Tinno

    Actually, Xerxes, you are mistaken. It was Steve’s cryptic way of reminding shareholders of his stubborn stance on music rental services:

    Can’t Loan iPods

    Also, Moltz: all this confusion is due to a typo in insider information: Xerxes’ last name isn’t, “Ng”; these are his last two initials. Xerxes N.G.

    I can say no more. My job is already on the line as my name closely matches Apple’s new business plan, “ASK THEN RAG A WIZ PONY”.

  26. Ace Deuce says:

    Excellent. The maestro conducting A Firing. That’s by Stravinsky, right?

    I like where this is leading. Soon we’ll be neck deep in palindromes, introducing the Mac Cam.

  27. Streetrabbit says:

    Palindromes stink.

  28. OMGHAX says:

    Ah, but what about semordnilaps? Where one word, when reversed, spells out another: Like deranged. Backwards, it spells degnared. Hmm, I guess that’s not really a word, but still! There are real examples!

  29. happyapps says:

    ifire will be included in iwork08, i think, oh that will be there too.


  30. blank says:

    I like mondegreens more than anagrams. Palindromic mondegreens are even better!

    They haven’t fired the right guy yet, but there is a SeXserve in the works–coordinating system for the LNSA (lesbian ninja sexbot army).

  31. Abe Lincolnlogski says:

    Turns out that Xerxes can be a mans name, or a chicks name, or in the case of “300” the name of an effeminate leader with a god-like voice. Which prompted me to do a bit more investigating reporting. Turns out Mr. Ng is actually Mrs. Ng, and when she was hired by Apple her maiden name was Bevsto.

    Ergo: Xerxes Bevsto-Ng = X-serve Sexbot (NG) [Next Generation, like the Star Trek NG]

    Oh happy day!!!!!!!

  32. jobbed???? says:

    I just called 5 cingular shops today. (spoke to 2 “managers)

    They said the iphone is delayed till late jne or early july! wtf!
    Anybody heard anything???

    No other info on the web

  33. John Muir says:

    Come on Matt Cable. Make my day!

  34. abdul says:

    Apparently theres a Cracked Leopard OS X on the under ground auction

    check it out


    good luck getting access, I cant. Keep the blogging going on good blog and interesting.

  35. George Sands says:

    Too Many Secrets!

  36. Xerxes NG says:

    @ AppleInsider


    OMG! Is Apple working on:


  37. Rip Ragged says:

    Actually if you do the Numerological reduction then extract the null bits, Rip Ragged is a cryptogram of a palindromic acronym for a cousin of Steve Jobs.

    That’s why I always get my hair cut just before the WWDC.

  38. Rip Ragged says:

    I remember aaaaaooooooeeeiiiiaaa, everybody calls him Bob.

  39. Xerxes NG says:

    imho BoB would have said AaooeeiiaaiieeooaA


  40. Bill Compton says:

    Hi Jim. Photos i received. Thanks

  41. MDavis says:

    I am not sure that I can completely understand your comments. Would you be so kind as to expand on your reasoning a little more before I comment.