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Apple Wiki
Ellen Hancock

Ellen Hancock in 1999

Ellen M. Hancock (born Ellen Marie Mooney, April 15, 1943 - April 19, 2022) was an American technology manager, and former Chief Technology Officer at Apple Computer.


Hancock worked at IBM, starting as a junior programmer in 1966 and ultimately rising to Senior Vice President in charge of networking hardware and software. In 1995, she was hired away by National Semiconductor's CEO Gil Amelio, where she was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). The following year, Amelio became Apple's CEO, and soon Hancock followed him to become Apple's Chief Technology Officer.

Apple Computer[]

After a few months in charge, Hancock came to the conclusion that the Copland and Gershwin projects were in a hopeless situation. She then advised Amelio to cancel them, which he did. This opened the way to a different solution, the acquisition of an external operating system to become the new Mac OS. The main contenders were NeXT's NeXTSTEP and Be's BeOS, but Hancock's favored option was Sun Microsystems' Solaris. Even after NeXT was chosen, she still advocated using Solaris' kernel instead of NeXT's Mach-based kernel. This earned her the enmity of returning Steve Jobs, who publicly derided her.

After the board of directors fired Amelio, she was reassigned to a much lesser position while former key NeXT personnel took over Apple. She soon resigned.

After Apple[]

In March 1998 she became CEO of web hosting company Exodus Communications. The company was extremely successful under Hancock's leadership, but its stock collapsed with the "dot-com crash" that affected the tech industry as a whole. She resigned, and the company filed for bankruptcy in September 2001.

In 2005, Hancock, Amelio, and Steve Wozniak founded the investment fund Acquicor Management, where she served as President and Chief Operating Officer. She resigned in July 2007.

Personal life[]

Hancock was of Irish ancestry and a devout Roman Catholic. She had a master's degree in mathematics from Fordham University. She married fellow IBM employee W. Jason Hancock in 1971.

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