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'Why I fired Steve Jobs'
A former Apple CEO tells the Daily Beast why, in 1986, it seemed like a good idea to get rid of the company's founder
 
Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Getty

In 1983, former Pepsi executive John Sculley was hired as CEO at then-struggling Apple, tasked to whip the company into shape and oversee founder Steve Jobs' creative efforts. But things didn't go as planned, says Thomas E. Weber in The Daily Beast. The two men clashed, leading Sculley and Apple's board to oust the difficult-to-manage Jobs. Ten years later, Jobs was brought back in a desperate bid to save the company, and — following a winning streak that has included the iPod, iPhone, and iPad — Apple is now the largest tech firm in the world. Though Jobs still won't speak with him, Scully gives his former adversary full credit for the company's success. Here, an excerpt:

"Sculley says he accepts responsibility for his role but also believes that Apple’s board should have understood that Jobs needed to be in charge. 'My sense is that it probably would never have broken down between Steve and me if we had figured out different roles,' Sculley says. 'Maybe he should have been the CEO and I should have been the president.'...

In fairness, the Gospel According to Steve resonates far more clearly today. But in '85, even high-tech enthusiasts were still trying to figure out what to do with 'home computers.' (Word processing and keeping a database of kitchen recipes were popular options.) Jobs' dreams that personal technology could leverage our brains' power 'like a bicycle for our minds' — which drove his single-minded view of what Apple's products should be — were truly ahead of their time, and not a sufficient response to shareholders facing losses."

Read the full article at The Daily Beast.

 

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