Chief of Operations Appointed at Apple
By Lawrence M. Fisher and Daniel F. Cuff
The New York Times
July 29, 1986
Delbert W. Yocam took time out from water-skiing yesterday to be promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer of Apple Computer Inc. Mr. Yocam, who joined Apple in 1979, was taking a six-week sabbatical with his family at Lake Tahoe when he moved up from being executive vice president and group executive of product operations.
Mr. Yocam, who is 42 years old, is sometimes credited as the architect of the reorganization of Apple, which over the last year has consolidated the previously separate Apple II and Macintosh divisions. He has also been instrumental in decreasing inventory and instituting cost controls, which raised margins and put the company solidly back in the black. ''He has been running the company's internals since the reorganization,'' said Michael Murphy, editor of the Technology Stock Letter.
Describing his work at Apple in recent years as a ''partnership in running the company'' with its chairman, president and chief executive, John Sculley, Mr. Yocam said his new position would create ''a much broader role'' for him, involving worldwide product operations, sales and marketing. The creation of a chief operating officer's position will free Mr. Sculley to focus on future directions, strategic issues and business development opportunities, the company said.
As a veteran of the old Apple under its co-founder, Steven P. Jobs, Mr. Yocam said one of his top priorities was to make sure that the company ''remains the most exciting place to work in the microcomputer industry.''
Mr. Yocam also said he was committed to doubling the percentage of funds Apple spends on research and development as the company moves into new and more diverse product areas. ''I don't want to just talk innovation, I want to ship innovation,'' he said.
''Del is not a charismatic figure, a visionary like Steve Jobs; he is much more of a realist,'' said Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies Inc. in San Jose, Calif. ''He is also a survivor, which is very important to Apple,'' he said. Mr. Yocam ''was the only stable factor during that entire transition from Jobs to Sculley,'' he added.
Before joining Apple, Mr. Yocam held positions with Computer Automation Inc., the Control Data Corporation and the Ford Motor Company. He received his bachelor's degree in management from California State University at Fullerton and his M.B.A. from California State University at Long Beach.
Copyright 1986 The New York Times Company