Fortune – In mid-April, Apple had its first ultra-secretive “Top 100” meeting since Jobs died. The hush-hush conclave is a rare opportunity for top managers — not necessarily chosen by rank, but rather by the CEO’s assessment of who are the most valuable contributors at any given time — to learn what products and services are on tap for the next year and a half or so.
Participants left the Top 100 energized about Apple’s near-term outlook, presumably having seen Apple’s next iPhone and perhaps its long-awaited television product too. One veteran executive was “blown away” by what he had seen, says someone this executive spoke to afterward. Reports another person with access to top-level Apple executives: “People came away totally comfortable with where the company is headed.”
When Adrian Perica, a former Goldman Sachs (GS) banker, joined Apple several years ago, he was the only executive whose sole remit was dealmaking. Steve Jobs basically ran M&A for Apple. Today Perica heads a department with three corporate-development professionals under him and a staff supporting them, so that Apple can work on three deals simultaneously.