Apple’s Cue is so overworked he sometimes falls asleep during meetings

Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services and its chief negotiator with content makers and Hollywood studios, is known to sometimes fall asleep in meetings due to what sources described as exhaustion.

Journalists Aaron Tilley, Nick Wingfield, Jessica Toonkel, Amir Efrati and Jessica Lessin today published a profile of the Apple exec on The Information. The story is apparently based on interviews with more than two dozen people who have worked with Cue at Apple.

The full article, hidden behind a paywall, describes Cue as an empathic, intelligent leader with a loyal following. Others who have worked with him, however, claim that the many duties he has have taken a toll on his wellbeing to the point where he seems to fall asleep in meetings.

It is easy for Apple employees to tell when they have lost the attention of Eddy Cue, the leader of the company’s sprawling internet initiatives—from its music and video businesses to its maps service.

During meetings, Mr. Cue is sometimes known to fall silent, shut his eyes and tilt his head back, leaving other participants to wonder whether he is staring at the ceiling or sleeping, said several former Apple employees and one outside partner present on multiple occasions when it happened over the past few years. In at least two of these situations, Mr. Cue began snoring, one source said.

The report continues by saying Cue, known for his hands-off leadership style, is not one to always intercede in office conflicts, which became glaringly evident after Apple bough Beats for $3 billion as Beats and Apple managers would engage in fights to protect their fiefdoms.

“There were almost literally fistfights over design aspects, features and aesthetics,” said a person who worked on the project. “They all hated each other.”

“One downside with Eddy as a manager was that it’s unlikely for Eddy to mediate between warring factions,” said one former lieutenant. “If there were conflicts or tensions between groups, Eddy didn’t get involved.”

ROUNDUP: All the TV shows Apple’s working on

The article claims that, from the moment he gained responsibility for Siri, Cue seemed to lack much interest in the smart assistant feature. And when Siri team members did discuss Siri’s problematic performance, Cue allegedly “appeared bored” and seemed to fall asleep in at least two meetings, according to a former employee who was present.

Siri is still viewed as a laggard.

As of last September, Apple’s smart assistant has been the responsibility of Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering in charge of iOS and macOS.

Meanwhile, Cue continues to oversee services such as iTunes Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, Apple Maps, Search Ads, iCloud and the iWork productivity and creativity apps. The 53-year-old Miami native of Cuban descent, Cue also leads a global video team responsible for developing all aspects of Apple’s upcoming original video programming.

Cue’s net worth is an estimated $37 million.

Photo: Cue in his memorabilia-filled office in Cupertino, via The Hollywood Reporter