Papermaster's exit from Apple was cultural, not iPhone 4 specific

The Wall Street Journal (and the often informed Yukari Iwatani Kane) are reporting that while it's unknown how much iPhone 4 antennagate and white iPhone 4 delays played in SVP of mobile hardware, Mark Papermaster's exit from Apple, there were broader cultural issues at play:

Mr. Papermaster had lost the confidence of Mr. Jobs months ago and hasn't been part of the decision-making process for some time, these people said. They added that Mr. Papermaster didn't appear to have the type of creative thinking expected at Apple and wasn't used to Apple's corporate culture, where even senior executives are expected to keep on top of the smallest details of their areas of responsibility and often have to handle many tasks directly, as opposed to delegating them.One of these people also said Mr. Papermaster had difficulty maneuvering Apple's internal politics.

The WSJ does say it was Steve Jobs, not Papermaster, who decided to go ahead with iPhone 4's new antenna design.

Papermaster apparently also started his tenure with Apple while Jobs was on leave of absence and might not have been prepared for Jobs' intense management style when he came back to work.


Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.