We were having this meeting to discuss the friggin Chinese who are totally shaking us down on the iPhone and saying why should they pay us a slice of service fees and kiss our butts when people can just buy iPhones and unlock them and put them on China Mobile already? I’m sure you’ve heard about this but just in case see here and here. There’s like 400,000 unlocked iPhones running on China Mobile’s network and they’re keeping every dime of the service revenue. How is this fair?
Anyhoo, we’re in this meeting trying to figure out how to bring China Mobile back to the table and then how to put the screws to them, and it’s really an executive team meeting but Andrea Jung has decided she’s going to sit in, which is fine, I guess, though not really, and anyway in the middle of the meeting she decides that this would be a wonderful time to interrogate Phil Schiller about sales of the new Apple TV product and the MacBook Air. She wants numbers, breakdowns, unit sales by region, all sorts of data.
Phil gives her our standard answer which Katie wrote for him and he’s got it totally memorized: “We’re not here today to talk about those products. Today we’re talking about iPhone in China. No, it’s not that I won’t answer your question. But it’s just that we’re really, really excited about iPhone and we’re really excited about its potential to become a really exciting product in China which as you know is a very exciting market and we’re very excited about it.”
She’s like, “You don’t even fucking know, do you? You don’t have the numbers.” He’s like, “No, that’s not what I said.” She says in that case then he should tell her the numbers, right now. He says he doesn’t have that material with him. She says he should have it memorized but at the very least he should be able to provide ballpark figures and trend data off the top of his head and frankly if this meeting were taking place at Avon and if someone couldn’t answer this kind of totally simple question that person’s head would roll.
Phil says that if this meeting were taking place at Avon why would she be asking about sales of Apple TV and MacBook Air? She tells him to stop being a dick and tell her the numbers. Phil says, Seriously, wouldn’t we be talking about eye liner or mascara or something? And why would I be in that meeting? I don’t know anything about that stuff.
Everybody kind of laughs at that one, which I have to admit was pretty good. Andrea sits there with smoke coming out of her ears. She says, again, that she wants the numbers.
So Phil goes back to his rehearsed answer about being really excited about iPhone in China, and he starts giving me his classic deer-in-the-headlights look, as if to say, Dude, please, get me out of this.
But what could I do? I’m scared to death of this woman.
She goes over to Phil and tells him to stand up. He does. That’s when she knees him. I mean she dropped the friggin guy. I mean he’s down, curled up on the floor, moaning. We had to stop the meeting and take him to Stanford Medical Center.
Andrea refuses to apologize. Phil is threatening to quit. It’s ugly.