The new agreement exempted Mr. Ivy from regular travel to the company’s offices in Cupertino. He switched from an almost daily product review to an irregular schedule as weeks went by without weight. Sometimes information was spread in the studio that he was coming to the office suddenly. Employees compared moments following old footage of a stock market crash in the 1920s with papers being thrown into the air and people furiously rushing to prepare for its arrival.
In anticipation of the 10th anniversary of the iPhone on Wall Street in early 2017, Mr. Ivy invited the company’s leading software designers to San Francisco to review the product. A team of about 20 people came to the city’s exclusive social club, The Battery, and began distributing 11- to 17-inch prints of design ideas at the club’s penthouse. They needed Mr. Ivy’s consent for several features of the first iPhone with a full screen.
They waited for Mr. Iva for almost three hours that day. When he finally arrived, he did not apologize. He reviewed their prints and offered feedback. He then left without making a final decision. When their work stopped, many wondered how they got here.
In the absence of Mr. Ivy, Mr. Cook began to reshape the company in the form of his image. He replaces the company’s current CEO, Mickey Drexler, a talented marketer who created Gap and J. Crew, James Bell, a former chief financial officer of Boeing. Mr. Ivy was angry that the left-wing executive had replaced one of the council’s right-wing leaders. “He is one of those accountants,” he complained to a colleague.
Mr. Cook also encouraged the company’s finance department, which has begun auditing external contractors. At one point, the department rejected a legitimate bill submitted by Foster + Partners, an architectural firm that works closely with Mr. Ivy to complete the company’s new $ 5 billion campus, Apple Park.
In the wake of these battles, Mr. Cook began to expand Apple’s strategy to sell more services. During a corporate trip in 2017, Mr. Ivy went outside to get some fresh air when Apple novice Peter Stern faced company leaders. Mr. Stern clicked on an X-shaped diagram slide showing Apple’s profit margin falling from sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs, while profit margins increased from sales of software and services such as its iCloud memory.
The presentation alarmed part of the audience. It reflected a future in which Mr. Ivy – and the company’s business as a product maker – would be less important, and Mr. Cook’s growing focus on services such as Apple Music and iCloud would be more important.