Former CEO’s advice to Apple: Buy big companies

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Former Apple CEO John Sculley speaking at a Forbes conference in September 2013.

(Credit: Screenshot by CNET)

John Sculley, Apple’s chief executive from 1983 to 1993, has some unsolicited advice for the company he used to run: acquire more companies.

Not just the small companies Apple usually buys for their technology, like when it bought Siri in 2010 to bring the text-to-speech personal assistant to iPhones and iPads. But really big, major players like, say, eBay.

“My guess is you’d suddenly see the whole landscape of e-commerce shift,” Sculley said, in an interview with the BBC published Friday.

Since Apple has such a large amount of cash reserves, Sculley reasons, the company should use it to keep building products.

“Apple’s never been an acquirer of big companies before, and when you look at the [Apple digital ticket system] Passbook, and fingerprint recognition — what would it mean if Apple went out and bought eBay? And they had PayPal, and integrated that?” Sculley asked.

The idea that Apple would buy eBay is admittedly a bit farfetched. Also of note when considering Sculley’s decision making: he was known for forcing Steve Jobs out of the company.

Original article was posted on

Richard Nieva

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