More details have surfaced about last week’s supposed layoffs in Apple’s (AAPL) enterprise sales department — layoffs that Apple has publicly denied. Is Apple stretching the truth again?
Monday, CNET’s Tom Krazit reported that “roughly 50 salespeople were let go by the company for ‘business and economic reasons’, according to one source.” He adds: “[L]ayoffs in the sales group did happen, according to several sources who were brought into conference rooms in Austin and Cupertino last Tuesday and given white manila envelopes informing them that they had been laid off, amid plainclothes security officers.”
Last Wednesday morning, for instance, Apple spokesman Steve Dowling told us that Gawker’s report — that 50 salespeople were laid off — was not true. Today, after CNET’s report was published, Dowling declined to comment to us — and CNET — beyond his statement last week. And the company declined to offer any details about the situation.
What does this mean?
- Maybe CNET is wrong. But we are inclined to trust their report.
- Maybe Apple’s PR team is punking and playing everyone again. They certainly don’t have a reputation for being forthright — see botched handling of Steve Jobs’ health condition going back to last summer.
- Maybe this is a Clinton-esque game of semantics — where it depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.
Big picture, this means nothing to Apple’s business. 50 layoffs in a company of 30,000 is not big news. But it doesn’t help us trust that Apple is telling us — or the public, or its investors — the truth.