Millard Drexler is the CEO of J.Crew and sits on Apple's Board of Directors and committees for compensation, nominating, and corporate governance. During a recent interview about his operations with the clothing retailer, some sharp-eyed smartphone ehtusiasts noticed that he was using a BlackBerry Bold 9900, not an iPhone, as one might expect from someone working with Apple at levels that high.
To be fair, Apple also had Eric Schmidt on their board of directors for a long time, and Schmidt was an
Android BlackBerry user. Besides, the founder of mobile design company TAT, now RIM Sweden and one of the company's biggest assets, is still using an iPhone. In any case, there are plenty of people on either board of directors from outside companies that are hardly beholden to remaining personally loyal to the brand.
Lately, RIM has been touting themselves as a phone for "doers" rather than iSheep, which is why Drexler is getting attention; any successful businessman toting a BlackBerry is a poster boy for the campaign, and the fact that this one just so happens to work with Apple is icing on the cake for CrackBerry fans. Really though, the "doer" campaign's snobbishness is just shooting RIM in the foot, as BlackBerry needs to be roping in any and every willing pair of thumbs whether or not they identify themselves as hyper-productive git-'er-done types. But hey, that's cool RIM, you can take that 1% of the market consisting of high-paid execs like Drexler that think it has to have a BlackBerry, while Android and iOS take up the rest.
What do you guys think - should Drexler be eating his own dogfood and use an iPhone, or does it not necessarily send a bad message that he's using a competing smartphone? He's not a hugely visible public figure at Apple, so it sure doesn't bother me much. Besides, who's to say he doesn't have an iPhone in his other pocket? A phone for play and a phone for work is a pretty common set-up these days.