Apple’s ‘Mr Fix It’ Eddy Cue

Karen Haslam
3 November, 2012
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Eddy Cue, the Apple exec who is now tasked with fixing Apple’s voice-recognition PA Siri and its disastrous iOS 6 Maps app, has been profiled in a number of articles.

Cue, given the nickname ‘Mr Fix-It’ in the Cnet report, is “a longtime Apple executive who led its transformation into the world’s largest music retailer,” writes Business Insider.

As the ‘Mr Fix-It’ of Apple, Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue has a number of successes to his name, according to the Business Insider report.

Cue built Apple’s online store, “a big move at the time,” according to the report, which “gave Apple a foundation in e-commerce that Jobs later credited as crucial for creating iTunes.”

Cue also built the iTunes Store, striking deals with “wary record labels” as a ” door opener with entertainment companies” and “turned Apple into the largest music retailer in the world”. The reports note a number of occasions where Cue negotiated “heated discussions” with labels, and managed to maintain Apple’s top position in music. Cnet suggests that Cue “often played the good cop to Steve Jobs’ bad cop,” when dealing with the labels. Although, according to the report, music executives said: “Eddy did a lot of bad cop, too.”

Cnet claims that five years ago, Cue helped prevent the relationship between Apple and the large record companies from collapsing when the sides almost ‘went nuclear’.

After the success of iTunes, Cue went on to oversee the App Store. Looking to the future, it is likely that Cue is busily negotiating deals to get content for the fabled Apple television.

Cue’s ‘Mr Fix It’ title comes from the fact that he was tasked with fixing MobileMe after it flopped. That service was eventually replaced by iCloud.

“Cue’s got a tough job. The good news for Apple is that he’s done tough jobs before,” notes Business Insider.

Cnet includes a number of comments about Cue from various sources.

CEO of Major League Baseball Advanced Media Bob Bowman said: “There’s nobody quite like Eddy Cue at Android or any of the other competitors. Eddy is genius, brilliant, thoughtful, and tough.”

Music-tech attorney Chris Castle said: “My impression was that he was very clearly about Apple’s interest, but it was clear he also wanted to be fair. Apple never tried to steal music like many of these other guys. They cared about content. It was never about what they could get away with. With Eddy you felt you had a fair hearing.”

Regarding his negations with record labels one music industry exec said: “You have a point in time when everyone was going to draw their weapons, but the extremely shrewd way Eddy handled it took all the fight out of the industry’s sword rattlers.”

One reason for his negotiating successes may be his ” calm demeanor “, note one source. “I really respected [Cue] and his thoughtful, calm demeanor. Unlike a lot of tech people he listened to us when we were doing his deals.”

Another executive told Cnet: “Eddy doesn’t care about those other guys, the flashy executives who want the spotlight. He’s the kind of person who is happy to be in the engine room making sure that everything is clicking along.”

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