Apple Computer in Romania. The beginnings.

A true story, through an open letter to Mr. Tim Cook.


To the kind attention of Mr. Tim Cook, CEO

Dear Mr. Cook,
My name is Julian Rosengren; I am a Swedish citizen as well as a Romanian one with my actual residence at the address in this letter.

I have sent this letter many times during the years, starting from 2002, hoping that Apple Computer will take the responsibility for the acts of it’s employees and show full respect for efforts made by those who actively done something for Apple Computer in the early years.

But no. Apple Computer has not found the time or the interest to answer to the subject and I think that now it’s the time to let the public to know this sad story.
Since 12 may 1992 my company Romanian Computer Systems SA was Apple Computer’s IMC in Romania.
Through hard work, determination and a devoted team of people we succeeded in setting Apple on the map of Romania, a country dominated at that time by the traditional IBM.
Our presence on the market was probably the best story of that year and was rapidly presented by major news agencies and broadcasting companies all over the world.
We were perceived as the image of Apple Computer in the former East Europe and thus a symbol of fairness and of development through democracy and access to information.
While I don’t want to misuse the time given to lecture this letter, I would like to emphasize the values and the results implemented and achieved by us in a market with deep roots in a former political system known as dictatorial, corrupt and deeply undemocratic.
We made probably the first steps in a market cannibalized by corruption and greed, exposed by the former members of the communist party eager to get their privileges from the new market economy. Thus we decided to reinvest all the generated profits back in the Romanian economy and by that we have created jobs I a time of great economic difficulties.
We have brought The Mac on the first desk of the management of the most prestigious media companies, corporations Romanian as well as American and others.
The Macintosh became a symbol for the democratic process and we have created the premises and the means for that in a very short time.
Huge media campaigns with America standards were a common happening in a time when the advertising market was newly born.
At that time the European management for Apple Europe and especially for Romania was under the responsibility of the Apple EMEA in Paris, France the team under the leadership of Mr. S N and by Mr. G M, director and general Manager IMCs at Apple Computer Europe.
The cooperation with the team in Paris was great and the above mentioned gentlemen visited Romania and had the opportunity to visit the company, know the working team and most likely see with their own eyes a market with an unexpected dynamic created in an extremely short time through determination, courage and a substantial investment.
We were determined to invest over 10 million US$ in Romania in this business and to grow on a constant basis within the country. Branches and local offices were opened in major cities and at a certain point of time we had about 300 individuals working with and for the sake of Apple Computer and for putting the Mac on its deserved place in that country.
My personal belief in democracy and eventually my personal involvement in the democratic political movement of Romania brought me in conflict with the political power and the new rich class formed by the former user of brown uniforms now changed into Armani outfits.
I have been declared more or less a public enemy for the power and a chain of events started and finally changed my life dramatically.
In April 1993 I was arrested without any warrant or other legal grounds and held behind the bars until December 1996 when due to international pressure I was finally released.
I was accused of illegal financial transactions and other accusations were brought into the courts of law from Romania. Finally and unexpectedly, a decision to be deported from Romania was taken against law and common sense transforming me in the only Romanian citizen sentenced to deportation out of his own country.
I realized that something was more than wrong but I was far more shocked to be confronted with the situation of my company, Romanian Computer Systems SA, the Romanian IMC for Apple Computer Europe.
While I was a private individual the agreement for the IMC was signed between two legal entities and not having me as a part other than representative of the IMC.
Even in Romania at that time as well as now there was a clear distinction between a private individual and a legal entity.
I found out that all the efforts, work and not only that but also the investments made in putting Apple Computer in that market were taken away with no justification or decision presented to me and given away to another company.
That became a new nightmare for any believer in true and real values Mr. Cook but especially for me seeing all my efforts spoiled and given away to another company without any values or other qualities.
More painful was to realize that the former responsible person for the management of the Romanian market, Mr. GM had/have private interests in that specific deal, purely said financial and of ownership.
That is in my opinion and I suppose that even in yours a serious act of dishonest behavior against any moral rule or principle.
I tried to understand why and how that was possible without to discuss the matter with me even if I was illegally detained.
Nor was I acknowledged of that decision or offered a compensation which might have made possible for me to insure a proper legal process.
I was and still am shocked because I was not treated as such even by the representatives of the former regime of Romania but I had to accept that individuals employed by Apple Computer, representing a world known corporation were acting on their personal behalf and in their personal interest.
Those was in my opinion and surely in any other individuals using common sense an act of lowest morality and an act of bad business conduct.
A company like Romanian Computer Systems SA was worth a lot of money as it was a proven results machine in a new and unknown market for Apple Computer.
No one ever contacted me in order to address these issues in order and I have to say Mr. Cook that I am deeply disappointed.
The fact that I am writing this letter to you personally is an expression of respect for the company and the ethics shown but also an last resort action to reach an understanding on this matter acceptable for all parties.
I am not driven by greed or by any desire of getting something which is not mine. I am looking for a sincere expression of regrets and a fair compensation for a sizeable loss.
I even am surprised to see that despite all my previous correspondence addressed both to Apple Computer or to Mr. GM, I still get no response.

Therefore I took myself the liberty to write to you again, this time in an open environment even as I am far from sure that my messages have ever reached your desk.

Sincerely yours,
Julian Rosengren