Tony Fadell was the Senior Vice President of the iPod Division at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). In the 1990’s, Fadell created a company to become the “Dell of Consumer Electronics.” One of the ideas he came up with was a small hard disk-based music player. Since Fadell could not find a second round of funding for Fuse, the company he created for the product, he took his ideas to some of the more established audio companies.
The first company he approached was RealNetworks, Inc. (NASDAQ:RNWK). He did not stick around there for more than 6 weeks. Then he brought his idea to Apple and he stayed for 7 years. His contributions at Apple have created enough of a buzz to sell 160 million iPods. The iPod comprises of about 20% of Apple’s overall sales.
Today it was announced that Tony and his wife, Danielle Lambert VP of Human Resources is stepping down from the company. Mark Papermaster will be assuming the Tony’s former role at Apple. Papermaster was previously an executive at IBM. Papermaster will have some big shoes to fill. Papermaster was one of the main architects of the Power PC processor.
IBM actually filed a lawsuit against Papermaster for violating a noncompete agreement last month according to The Wall Street Journal.