Sometimes I wonder if Olivier Sanche would still be alive if he had stayed at eBay instead of going to Apple. If Olivier was still at eBay he would most likely be the VP that replaces Mazen Raswashdeh vacant position as eBay's VP of Technical Operations. But, Olivier had a passion for Apple products including the dream to work there. I spent 7 years working at Apple from 1985 - 1992 during the good years of early Macintosh Development, yet I never think should I have stayed at Apple. I have friends who are still there with 25+ years, and some have left and gone back
What would have happened if I had stayed at Apple all these years. Well, I would have hit 26 years at Apple this year and still be living in the SJ area. I was raised in Saratoga, CA, went to schools in Cupertino and went to UC Berkeley. But, what kind of person would I be if I had spent 26 years at Apple?
Apple is a 35 year old company, but the number of data center executives who came from Apple is unknown. Apple hired one of top data center executives with Olivier Sanche's arrival. His replacement is not known publicly and is not Kevin Timmons. Thanks to my blog post on Kevin leaving Microsoft for Apple., there is huge speculation Apple has big data center plans and cloud computing.
But, let me tell you another side of what happens after I posted. Some of my data center friends cautioned me posting on Kevin leaving Microsoft going to Apple as "your post will make Kevin famous and known in the industry." True. But, I'll tell you one thing that happened immediately after the news spread. Apple PR called Kevin to make sure that he doesn't talk to any media. Not about Apple, Not about Microsoft. Not about anything data center related. How do I know? Did I talk to Kevin? No. But, this is exactly what happened when I blogged about Olivier Sanche leaving eBay going to Apple. Olivier and I had no idea the news would be so big, but one of the first calls was from Apple's PR department to figure out who this data center guy was that media guys were calling about. Apple PR is probably trying to figure out who the hell is this Dave Ohara and his green data center blog, telling the world about the data center executives we hire.
With Apple PR clamping down on data center executives like Kevin Timmons's, high visibility virtually disappears over time as there no other words shared. With Amazon's Cloud Drive, new media services from Google around the corner, and the media watching for Apple's next step it is quite possible the Apple PR team is clamping down even harder on any data center news being shared.
Which gets back to my title question.
Is working at Apple the end of the career for a data center executive?
Working at Apple was the end of Olivier Sanche's career.
Can Apple's data center solution be put on course with the hiring of one data center executive, Kevin Timmons?
What is not totally clear is whether Apple can operate data centers to compete against Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.
The media has their opinion. But, would you run a data center based on what mass media thinks? Think about that one for a while.
I trust my data center advice from the insiders who run data centers 7x24 365 days a year with decades of experience.