Sal Soghoian, who worked at Apple for nearly 20 years and was the “AppleScript guy” (and later, “AppleScript and Automator guy”) for most of that time, revealed today that he is no longer employed by Apple:
Recently, I was informed that my position as Product Manager of Automation Technologies was eliminated for business reasons.
This is a tough one. Sal has been a champion for power users and other professionals who use the Mac for years. AppleScript was one of the few reasons major publishing companies stayed on the Mac during its darker days. Automator was a banner feature of Mac OS X Tiger. Here’s Steve Jobs introducing Sal introducing Automator at the WWDC 2004 keynote as “Sol, whom you all know.”
But lately it’s hard not to see that Apple’s interest in automation technologies appears lukewarm. iOS has no systemwide automation features; apps like Workflow and enterprising users and developers have provided ways for users to connect apps together, but it seems like they succeed despite—not because of—Apple.
So while I am extremely sad that Sal is no longer at Apple—he was really one of the great advocates for the Mac and Mac users that I have ever known at Apple in my own two decades of covering it—I have to say I’m not really surprised. It’s felt like Sal (and by extension, those who care about automating and enhancing the Mac) has been unsupported by an indifferent Apple for quite some time now. Apparently even that indifference is now at an end. It’s a shame.