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Ex-Apple Employee: Working for ‘Giant Jerk’ Steve Jobs was a Nightmare

Updated Jun 18th, 2015 7:01PM EDT
What It's Like To Work For Steve Jobs

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Earlier this week, a new account emerged from a supposed former Apple employee that revealed what it was like to work for Apple under Steve Jobs. The anonymous worker painted Jobs as a very demanding boss who worked his employees to the bone. Of course, we already knew that.

Now, however, we’re pointed to a new account from a former Apple employee who isn’t anonymous. The disgruntled former project manager suggests that not only was Jobs incredibly demanding, he was also a “giant jerk” who didn’t value his employees and who blamed others for his own mistakes.

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Erin Caton currently works as a project management consultant, and she knows very well that she’ll never work at Apple again. Why? In an old post on Medium dug up today by Business Insider, Caton pulls back the curtain on what it was like from her perspective to work at Steve Jobs’s Apple.

It wasn’t pretty.

First and foremost, it’s important to note that Caton worked as an Engineering Project Manager on the MobileMe team. MobileMe, as you might recall, was an absolute disaster, so it stands to reason that her experiences at Apple weren’t great. But even if she is disgruntled, her accounts are hardly unique — like all wildly successful CEOs, Steve Jobs could be a jerk.

Caton says she had two experiences with Jobs while at Apple. The first was when she was waiting in line for lunch and a man cut in front of her. When she turned to a coworker to ask who the “douche” was who had just cut her in line, she was informed it was Jobs.

Her second experience was significantly worse.

The former Apple worker recalled the lead-up to Apple’s big MobileMe launch, which the entire team working on the project knew was going to be a disaster. The product simply wasn’t ready and they had pleaded with management, but Jobs demanded that it launch on time.

When MobileMe crashed hard on launch night, hundreds of MobileMe team members worked around the clock to fix the service and get it running again. Then when the deed was finally done, they were all called into a meeting with Jobs.

“We all walked over to the building like we were headed to the guillotine,” Caton wrote. “He stood in front of us and yelled at us, told us that we should be mad at each other, said we could have done a staggered launch and complained that we didn’t even try to do all the things that we (those on the ground floor of production that actually make the fucking products of the world) had been begging to do. It was the world’s best de-motivational speech.”

Her full post is linked below in our source section.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.


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