Four months after attempting to fire someone who didn’t even work at Apple, sources indicate Apple CEO Steve Jobs conducted a successful firing today that was rich with irony.
According to those present, Jobs happened upon programmer Rick Delaney in the hallway, taking a personal call on his cell phone. For reasons that are still unclear, Delaney did not recognize Jobs and returned the mercurial CEO’s glare with an equally icy one of his own.
When Jobs snapped “Get back to work,” Delaney provided the ironic setup for Jobs’ firing by replying “You’re not the boss of me.”
Apple engineer John A. Vink noted “Ironically, Steve was the boss of him, much as he is the boss of all of us. And by that I mean all Mac users, not just Apple employees.
“And that really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.”
But Jobs was quick to turn Delaney’s false assumption true – just moments later he would no longer be the boss of him as he was fired.
“Of all the firings I’ve seen Steve perform over the years – and it’s been a lot – this one is certainly the most ironic,” Vink said. “Not necessarily the funniest, that one involved balloons and an otter, but definitely the most ironic.”
Indeed, even Delaney was forced to admire the ironic nature of his termination.
“It takes some of the sting out of getting fired,” Delaney said. “Not much, of course, but some.”
For his part, Jobs took it all in stride.
“Firing people is my signature move,” Jobs said “and I savor them all. So I try not to pick favorites.
“Although, while technically he was fired by the board, Gil Amelio’s termination was pretty sweet.
“Damn, I am good.”