Ex-Apple CEO John Sculley has suggested that Apple can secure its future by merging with a leading IT company.

In an interview with ON24 at the Technology Outlook 2000 conference, he said: "Apple should look seriously at merging with a company like 3Com which has a much more network-centric understanding of the world."

He went on to praise 3Com's products, including the Palm, Palm OS and Internet radio solution Kerbango.

Sculley also voiced great respect for Steve Jobs and his accomplishments. "If you combined Steve's extraordinary insight into industrial design and marketing with the network-centric know-how of 3Com, you might find a great future for them both".

He was asked to resign by Apple's board of directors after eight years at the helm between May 1985 to June 1993. His removal from office followed a disastrous third quarter, which forced Apple to slash prices, deal with falling earnings and impose staff lay-offs. According to a 1993 lawsuit filed by executive vice president, Al Eisenstat, Sculley was asked to resign because "he was not focused on the day-to-day operations of Apple, other than on its technology".

Sculley left Apple with $1 million in severance fees, $750,000 in consultancy fees and the equivalent of $2.4 million in stock options.