Wayne Goodrich — a former Apple employee who is responsible for awe-inspiring presentations like the introduction of the iPhone, iPad, and Siri — has sued the company for breach of contract and unfair business practices, after being let go from the company in December.
Yes, December, which means that he likely had no part in the forthcoming iPhone 5 debut presentation, expected on September 12.
Goodrich claims, in a federal complaint filed with a San Jose court, that the late Steve Jobs assured him job security, even if his position was eliminated. BusinessWeek reports that Goodrich was a “confidant, sounding board and close adviser” to Steve Jobs.
Mr. Goodrich was fired for no legitimate reason, according to the complaint. Apple reportedly said it was for “business reasons,” and unrelated to the quality of work Goodrich was producing.
Goodrich worked for Apple since 1998, and was awarded restricted stock in 2008 (then worth just $97.40/share). As you may have heard, that stock has been on a bit of a growth spurt ever since hitting $657/share as of right now.
Goodrich is then seeking compensation for the loss of restricted stock, wages, benefits and emotional distress, as he and his lawyer believe that Apple terminated his job to avoid paying out the restricted stock.
Goodrich claims that one of his greatest accomplishments was the Siri presentation at Apple’s October 2011 keynote, introducing the iPhone 4S.
It’s worth wondering what the iPhone 5 presentation will look like knowing that Goodrich likely had nothing to do with it. He’s been a huge part of Apple’s brand perception through the company’s most amazing and memorable moments. Other companies have tried, and failed, to emulate Apple’s (and more notably, Steve Jobs’) swagger on stage.
Time shall tell if Apple can maintain the same presence without Goodrich, and September 12 is just around the corner.