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Plan Execution: From an Apple Sr. V.P.

Jay Elliot served as the Senior Vice President of Apple Computer, responsible for all corporate operations, including HR, Facilities, Real Estate, IT, Education, and Pacific Rim Sales, plus corporate business planning, reporting directly to Steve Jobs, chairman of the board. Also, as a member of the Macintosh organization, Jay helped Steve create the Macintosh computer from development to introduction. During his tenure at Apple, sales grew from $150 million to more than $3 billion.

I chatted with Jay on 3-3-2011.


My ear piece rang with clutter when Jay Elliot picked up the phone. Dogs barking. Crackling sounds that left me wondering if a hurricane just made landfall in California – and a voice that eventually said, “Can I call you back in ten minutes?”

Ten minutes later, after the usual greetings, I heard something about exterminators, dogs and chaos.

From that platform a conversation launched that spanned over 30 years and positions in three of the world’s great companies, ending with Steve Jobs and Apple.

Leadership Freak (LF): Many people would die for a chance to lead at IBM, Intel, or Apple. You’ve been at all three. What did people like Andy Grove and Steve Jobs see in you?

Jay Elliot (JE): I think they saw someone that was:

He chuckled like he did many times during our chat and said it doesn’t hurt that I’m 6’5”.  It doesn’t hurt that I was an athlete and that I’ve been leading since I was a kid.

LF: Talk to me about executing a plan.

JE:  There are several components to executing plans. Here are a few.


What are the key elements of effective plan execution?

Jay Elliot is an entrepreneur and author of, “The Steve Jobs Way: ileadership for a new Generation.”

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