According to the Wall Street Journal , thanks to Papermaster’s experience at IBM he knew a lot about internal politics, but what he had not counted on was Steve Jobs’s autocratic method of running Apple.
In fact the WSJ said that he had lost the confidence of Steve Jobs and not been part of the “decision-making process for some time.”
In other words the iPhone 4 broken phone fiasco was not likely to be much of Papermaster’s problem as it first appeared. It was Jobs, rather than Papermaster, who decided to move forward with the development of the phone even though the company was aware of the risks of the antenna design yonks back.
Papermaster started his job while Jobs was on sick leave to receive a liver transplant during the first half of 2009 and at the time had more autonomy to make decisions.
When Jobs came back and demanded his traditional bowing when executives entered the room, Papermaster was not really ready for that style of management.
Sources inside Apple said that Papermaster didn’t appear to have the type of thinking expected at Apple and wasn’t used to Apple’s corporate culture. He tended to delegate whereas senior executives were expected to micromanage in case they were questioned by Steve.
Papermaster’s exit has given Apple the opportunity to blame someone else other than Jobs for the peddling of the bug ridden iPhone 4. After all, although Steve made all the calls on it, technically it was his department that cocked up. Such is the price of working for a figurehead. All lesser careers must take a lower priority.