Steve Jobs' Infamous Temper Lives on at Apple in Bug-Wrangler Kim Vorrath

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Steve Jobs was infamous for his temper, with a famous story about him blowing up at the MobileMe team following a rocky rollout of that service in 2008.

However, Jobs isn't the only employee at Apple with a short fuse. A profile in The Information studies Kim Vorrath, Apple's vice president in charge of "program management" for both iOS and OS X. She supervises Apple's thorough testing process to discover bugs and is the final arbiter of deadlines to ensure that software updates come out on time.

iOS 8
One story in particular, relayed by Business Insider, tells of Vorrath's displeasure when she found out a co-worker was leaving work early before the launch of the first iPhone in 2007.

Ms. Vorrath, who has worked on all seven iOS releases, generally operates by asking lots of questions of engineers, sticking to the facts and getting them to explain in plain English why a particular feature should be included in the operating system. She’s easy to get along with, say former colleagues, who recall playfully mocking her 1990s feathered hairstyle and late 1980s fashion sense. But she isn’t known for chitchat and has been known to “blow up” on occasion when people miss deadlines or make excuses, colleagues say.

During a tense time before the first release of iOS software in 2007, Ms. Vorrath grew irate when a colleague was heading home early before another marathon weekend meeting. She slammed her office door so hard that the door knob broke, and she locked herself in. Mr. Forstall grabbed a baseball bat to try to break her out, people who worked at Apple at the time recall.

The Information says Vorrath has been working at Apple since 1987, starting as an intern and eventually becoming chief of staff for Scott Forstall. Now, she is said to be working directly beneath Apple executive Craig Federighi, who is in charge of Apple's software engineering teams.

Top Rated Comments

losthorse Avatar
88 months ago
-- removed by user --
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
impulse462 Avatar
88 months ago
"..locked herself in." Sounds like a whiny little ass if you ask me.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chatter Avatar
88 months ago

"..locked herself in." Sounds like a whiny little ass if you ask me.


Luckily no one asked you. But you do sound like one, if you ask me. :cool:
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Makosuke Avatar
88 months ago

Old story. Here's an article (originally from Wired) from 2008 that mentions this: http://www.siliconbeat.com/2008/01/10/the_iphone_story_score_one_for_the_irresistible_force/

Thanks for that link--it mentions the same story, but is phrased much more clearly as to what happened and why there was a baseball bat involved:

A product manager slammed the door to her office so hard that the handle bent and locked her in; it took colleagues more than an hour and some well-placed whacks with an aluminum bat to free her.

As worded in the quote on the MR post, it sounds like she intentionally locked herself in and Forestall took up a baseball bat to violently get her out of her office. The Wired story, however, makes it clear that the temper part was her slamming the door so hard that it broke the handle, which trapped her in her own office. The baseball bat was to free her, not force her out. Which makes it clear that, yes, she has a temper, but she's not nuts.

Compare to:

She slammed her office door so hard that the door knob broke, and she locked herself in. Mr. Forstall grabbed a baseball bat to try to break her out, people who worked at Apple at the time recall.

It's amazing how much difference the phrasing can make in the way a story is interpreted. While the second quote is technically true, by saying "and she locked herself in" rather than "locking her in" or "trapping her in the room", it leaves it open to wild misinterpretation of what was going on.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KdParker Avatar
88 months ago
seems like someone with a bad attitude that should have developed some better management skills in 30 years.

JMHO
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SandboxGeneral Avatar
88 months ago

Mr. Forstall grabbed a baseball bat to try to break her out, people who worked at Apple at the time recall.


Hahaha, that's hilarious! :D
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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