Business People

Key Apple Officer Will Head Spinoff

By Lawrence M. Fisher and Peter H. Frank
The New York Times

April 30, 1987

William V. Campbell was the first executive recruited by John Sculley after he joined Apple Computer Inc., and as executive vice president for sales and marketing he has been said to epitomize the chief executive's teamwork approach. Soon Mr. Campbell will start assembling his own team. On Tuesday, Apple announced he would lead a new software company to be spun off within the year.

Mr. Campbell, who is 46 years old and has been one of the top five executives at Apple, said the move was an opportunity to help Apple while fulfilling a lifelong dream of running his own company. Alluding to Silicon Valley, he said, ''You live out here in the Valley, with the start-up mentality all around you, and the thing everybody wants to do is run their own show.''

But this start-up will have an easier gestation than many, as it will be built over the next eight to 12 months while still a part of Apple.

The new company will initially produce and market software that Apple already makes for its own machines and will develop new software for its computers. But Apple expects to move quickly to sell a majority stake in the new company to outsiders.

''We will make sure this thing demonstrates its ability to run independently while it's still a part of Apple,'' said Mr. Campbell, who will be president and chief operating officer of the as-yet unnamed company. ''We will develop a plan to allow a real company to emerge.''

Spinning off its software operations is expected to reduce the conflicts Apple has had with third-party software developers, who resent having to compete with the company's own products.

Current Apple programs, such as Appleworks and Macwrite, which were developed by the company, will be renamed, and the new company's name will not include Apple. ''The Apple logo provides value to a product in excess of its value as a program,'' Mr. Campbell said. ''It does in fact stir up the ire of the third-party community.''

The new company will both acquire products from small software developers, who have had difficulty bringing their programs to market, and develop new programs on its own. Mr. Campbell said he assumes many people on Apple's software staff will choose to join him.

A former head football coach at Columbia University, Mr. Campbell moved to Apple four years ago from the Eastman Kodak Company, where he had been director of marketing. He was previously a vice president for J. Walter Thompson, the advertising agency.

Copyright 1987 The New York Times Company