What’s in a word? A lot… of course.
Apple, like many companies, is very sensitive to how personnel moves are perceived by the public markets — and the media that often delivers information to the public markets. Rumors regarding Steve Jobs’ health have, at times, had a serious impact on the company stock, for example.
Apple lost a key player today—Tony Fadell, creator of the iPod. If you don’t think it’s a big deal.. think how iPod totally transformed the company.
Apple are really good communicators.. and they handled this well. Here’s how:
1. The press release did the obvious thing… it announced NOT that Fadell was leaving, but rather that IBM hardware honcho Mark Papermaster will be joining the company. It then goes on to discuss the departure of Fadell and his wife (also an Apple person) from the company.
2. They announced this on Nov. 4 — not exactly a slow news day in the U.S. (or anywhere, for that matter). When you want news picked up you hope for a slow news day. When you don’t…..
3. And this was my favorite thing about the press release (it’s very Apple): Instead of saying that Fadell, and his wife Danielle Lambert, were leaving to “devote more time with their family” — which is the standard thing to say — the press release said they were leaving to “devote more time to their young family.”
This one word “YOUNG” somehow actually makes it believable, natural, and right. All people who leave companies, it seems, do so to spend more time with their families. The phrase becomes meaningless. Add one little descriptive, emotional word … and it changes a lot.
That’s all for now.. I’m going to enjoy the not-so-slow news day and hope it remains a good news day!