Who will replace the departed Oliver Sanche at Apple?

It’s one week since Oliver has left this Earth, and his service is on Dec 3, 2010 in France.

Please take note that the religious ceremony for Olivier will take place on Friday, December 3rd 2010 at 2.30 PM in his home town of Pignan in France ( Eglise de Pignan, 3 rue de l'église, 34570 PIGNAN, FRANCE).

There will be an open casket on friday morning at the " Complexe funeraire Grammont, Avenue Albert Einstein , 34000 Montpellier "

I talked to one of Olivier’s close friend Charles Kalko yesterday who was one of the last to see Olivier in the US.  Charles drove Olivier to the airport for some vacation time in Barcelona with his brother which is where Olivier passed away.  Charles and I are both mad and sad that Olivier is not coming back on a plane.

Every day I am talking to data center people and with going to Gartner I am sure the subject will come up. “Who will Apple hire to fill Olivier’s shoes?”

I am biased on this subject.  I worked at Apple from 1985-1992 in product development, not IT where data centers are at Apple.  On the other hand one of my best friends from those Apple days worked in IT and her boss Pete Solvik went on to be Cisco’s CIO, so I worked with the IT folks often.  Apple IT uses a lot of IBM HW.  In fact, one of the projects I worked on was to design and specify a distribution logistics SW solution for AS/400.

I’ve spent hundreds of hours with Olivier on the eBay data center project and travelling to various data center conferences with him. One of Olivier’s AT&T DC friends had just gone through the interview process at Microsoft to fill Mike Manos’s job ,and suggested Olivier would be a good candidate.  Olivier thought about Microsoft, but wasn’t passionate about going to Redmond.  He liked his job at eBay.  If he was going to make a move he would rather go to Google where he has friends.

One day Olivier said he was going to interview at Apple.  What did I think?  I reminded him Apple was established in 1976.  The company is over 33 years old.  Product development is totally different than support groups like IT, facilities and real estate where data centers are.  There are friends I know who tried to make the point Apple IT needed to run the data centers like a web company not enterprise SW.  But, try talking to IT that has people with over 20 years of time at Apple.  The scary thing is if I was still at Apple I would be there 25 years, and there are friends I know who are there longer.

Olivier and I talked many times before he took the job at Apple.  And when he did take the job he was pumped as he had his dream job to work at Apple.  Did I say Apple was a loyal Mac user.  I remember when I left HP to go to Apple, I was pumped as well.  I took my 5 year Apple award and Photoshop Olivier’s name on the plaque.


Tomorrow is your first day. :-)

Here is in hopes of your success, and making it to 5 years with many Apple memories.

Olivier responded.

It was great having you over on Friday. It was the perfect end for this chapter in my life, and a great beginning for the next one... a good way to transition our friendship from eBay to Apple...

I look forward to a plaque like this one... but Steve has to sign it!!!
Have a great day tomorrow with your daughter's birthday. Emilie LOVES her iPod touch and got a great cover for it....
Be well,

A couple of days later.  Olivier says.

I was very impressed with your photoshop skills! We will have to compare with the real one once I get it :)

So far it's going great... drinking from a fire-hose ....

Let me know when you are back in the bay area...


There are people Apple could try to recruit from Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Microsoft.  But how many have the passion for Apple and Mac that Olivier had?

While I am in LV next week I am sure there will be rumors on who will apply for the job.  The data center world is small, and it is hard for people to do things without others finding out.

I have my own ideas on who would be possible candidates, especially since I know who applied for the job before Olivier got it and who was applying after Olivier joined.

But, I am not going to pull a wikileak and post a list of people which would jeopardize their current jobs.  We’ll see who Apple eventually hires.  It will most likely be a none event.  Unless I find a a good reason to blog about who Apple hires and how they will continue the green data center momentum. 

One of the more entertaining surprise to both Olivier and I is how almost all his interview candidates read my post about his joining Apple as they Google searched his name.

Apple Recruits eBay Data Center Executive Olivier Sanche, Can Apple Change Data Centers the way they changed cell phone and media players?

They would many times comment on Olivier’s position on the environment.  Hiring managers typically say they want to hire someone with passion for the job.  With one post Olivier and I made it so almost all candidates were filtered for people who had a passion to change the world with greener data centers.

How cool is that?