Does Apple need more employees?
On a recent Vector podcast, industry analyst Ben Bajarin claimed that Apple was understaffed, partly because they don't have enough real estate available. On the most recent Accidental Tech Podcast the crew (Marco Arment, Casey Liss, John Siracusa) wondered if Jony Ive might be spread to thin now that he has complete control of both hardware and software design. This got me wondering if Apple really is spread to thin.
When Scott Forstall was let go he wasn't replaced; his duties were split up amongst existing executives (and I'm sure none of them were bored looking for work). Is it possible we don't have more traction on say an Apple TV, improved cloud or mobile payment system (we're just hearing about new hires right now) because the current leadership doesn't have the bandwith? Eddy Cue, for example, now oversees iTunes, AppStore, iCloud, Siri, Maps, Apple TV and Apple's professional apps. How much time does he really have to focus on spearheading a new mobile payments system? Ive is responsible for all hardware design (and one would assume new hardware development like "iWatch") but now he's added all software design underneath him. iOS and OSX software were previously lead by two different execs now they both fall under Craig Federighi.
Perhaps Apple leadership (and Apple corporate in general) are spread too thin? Steve Jobs may have wanted to run a lean ship to keep the company with that startup feel. That may have worked when Apple 2.0 was small. But now it's a company that generates $156B yearly revenue. The only companies that generate more are oil companies and Wal-Mart. For comparison Microsoft has approx 99K employees (not sure how many are retail), Google approx 48K. Apple excluding retail has 38K. In what universe does Google having 10K more employees than Apple make sense? I think Apple seriously needs to beef up its headcount to deal with all the complexities that come with being as big as it is. And maybe bring someone on the executive team to exclusively oversee iCloud as Apple's capabilities and offerings in that space need work.