John Sculley Explains Why He Fired Steve Jobs
As Apple kicks off its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, during which Steve Jobs is expected to announce the release of the new Apple iPhone (unofficially called the "iPhone 4G"), the Daily Beast's Thomas Weber recalls a time when the willful Jobs butted heads with the Apple Board of Directors and fellow execs.
One colleague in particular, John Sculley, who created the "Pepsi Challenge," was lured to Apple by Steve Jobs in 1983 and would become a key figure in the ousting of Jobs in 1985. According to the Daily Beast, "Sculley wrestled with low Macintosh sales and a need to bring some order to the creative chaos Jobs had unleashed. Sculley found that he couldn't rein in Jobs--and decided he had to go."
In one anecdote, the Daily Beast tells of a cocktail party at the home of David Rockefeller, where Jobs and other Apple managers allegedly put multicolored Apple logo stickers on the lavatory mirrors. Another board member Arthur Rock, recalls Jobs's relaxed office dress code:
Jobs came into the office, as he does now, dressed in Levi's, but at that time that wasn't quite the thing to do [...] And I believe he had a goatee and a mustache and long hair--and he had just come back from six months in India with a guru, learning about life. I'm not sure, but it may have been a while since he had a bath.
Now, however, Sculley sees Jobs as a visionary and regrets the actions he took against his former co-worker. "The same principles Steve is so rigorous about now are the identical ones he was using then. Now he's a lot wiser and a better business executive," Sculley told the Daily Beast.
"I haven't spoken to Steve in 20-odd years," Sculley went on to say. "Even though he still doesn't speak to me, and I expect he never will, I have tremendous admiration for him."
Jobs was reinstated by Apple in 1997 and has since steered the company to great heights. Just recently, Apple's surpassed Microsoft as the world's most valuable tech company.