The Man Behind The iPod Leaves Apple

tony fadellTony Fadell

Tony Fadell, the ‘godfather’ of the iPod, has completely divorced himself from Apple, Brad Stone at the NYT reports.Tony had stepped down as an SVP in 2008, but maintained a spot at the company as an advisor. He’s done with that now.

Why did he leave Apple, anyway? Daring Fireball’s John Gruber wrote an interesting post about Fadell’s departure in 2008: Basically, after losing a design battle, Fadell was not leading the team that was leading the iPhone and iPod touch — now the core of Apple’s business — and Apple CEO Steve Jobs decided he’d rather hire IBM’s Mark Papermaster instead.

Here’s Tony’s history with Apple, via the NYT:

Though Mr. Jobs gets the lion’s share of credit for innovation at Apple, Mr. Fadell played a key role in the company’s resurgence. He first envisioned a hard-drive-based digital music player in the 1990s and brought the idea to Seattle-based Real Networks, where he reportedly clashed with Real’s chief executive, Rob Glaser, and left after six weeks.

Mr. Fadell then approached Apple in 2001, and history was made. He first worked for Jon Rubinstein, a former Apple senior vice president who is now Palm’s chief executive, then replaced him as head of the iPod division in 2006.

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