Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs

Born Steven P. Jobs
February 24, 1955 (1955-02-24) (age 54)[1]
San Francisco, California, U.S.A.[1]
Occupation Chairman and CEO of Apple Inc.[2]
Board of Directors of Walt Disney Company
Salary US$1[3][4][5]
Net worth $3.4 billion (2009 Forbes)[6]
Religious beliefs Buddhism[7]
Spouse(s) Laurene Powell
Children 4

Steven Paul Jobs (born February 24, 1955) is an American businessman and co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. Jobs is the former CEO of Pixar Animation Studios.

In the late 1970s, Jobs, with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, created one of the first commercially successful personal computers. In the early 1980s, Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of the mouse-driven graphical user interface.[8] After losing a power struggle with the board of directors in 1985, Jobs resigned from Apple and founded NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in the higher education and business markets. NeXT's subsequent 1997 buyout by Apple Computer Inc. brought Jobs back to the company he co-founded, and he has served as its CEO since then. Steve Jobs was listed as Fortune Magazine's Most Powerful Businessman of 2007.[9]

In 1986, he acquired the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm Ltd which was spun off as Pixar Animation Studios.[10] He remained CEO and majority shareholder until its acquisition by the Walt Disney Company in 2006.[2] Jobs is currently the Walt Disney Company's largest individual shareholder and a member of its Board of Directors.[11][12] He is considered a leading figure in both the computer and entertainment industries.

Jobs' history in business has contributed greatly to the myths of the idiosyncratic, individualistic Silicon Valley entrepreneur, emphasizing the importance of design and understanding the crucial role aesthetics play in public appeal. His work driving forward the development of products that are both functional and elegant has earned him a devoted following.[13]

Jobs is currently on a leave of absence from Apple due to health issues.[14]



Early years

Steve Jobs at the WWDC 07

Jobs was born in San Francisco[1] and was adopted by Paul and Clara (née Hagopian) Jobs of Mountain View, Santa Clara County, California who named him Steven Paul. Paul and Clara also had a daughter, Patty. His biological parents, Joanne Carole Schieble and Abdulfattah Jandali[7] — a graduate student from Syria who became a political science professor[7] — later married and gave birth to Jobs' sister, the novelist Mona Simpson.

Jobs attended Cupertino Junior High School and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California,[13] and frequented after-school lectures at the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto, California. He was soon hired there and worked with Steve Wozniak as a summer employee.[15] In 1972, Jobs graduated from high school and enrolled in Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Although he dropped out after only one semester,[16] he continued auditing classes at Reed, such as one in calligraphy. "If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts", he said.[17]

In the autumn of 1974, Jobs returned to California and began attending meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club with Steve Wozniak. He took a job as a technician at Atari, a manufacturer of popular video games, with the primary intent of saving money for a spiritual retreat to India.

Jobs then traveled to India with a Reed College friend (and, later, the first Apple employee),[citation needed] Daniel Kottke, in search of spiritual enlightenment. He came back a Buddhist with his head shaved and wearing traditional Indian clothing.[citation needed] During this time, Jobs experimented with psychedelics, calling his LSD experiences "one of the two or three most important things [he had] done in [his] life."[18] He has stated that people around him who did not share his countercultural roots could not fully relate to his thinking.[18]

He returned to his previous job at Atari and was given the task of creating a circuit board for the game Breakout. According to Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, Atari had offered US$100 for each chip that was reduced in the machine. Jobs had little interest or knowledge in circuit board design and made a deal with Wozniak to split the bonus evenly between them if Wozniak could minimize the number of chips. Much to the amazement of Atari, Wozniak reduced the number of chips by 50, a design so tight that it was impossible to reproduce on an assembly line. At the time, Jobs told Wozniak that Atari had only given them $600 (instead of the actual $5000) and that Wozniak's share was thus $300.[19][20][21][22][23][24]

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates at D5.

Beginnings of Apple Computer

In 1976, Steve Jobs and Stephen Wozniak, with funding from multimillionaire A.C. "Mike" Markkula, founded Apple. Before Wozniak co-founded Apple with Jobs, he was an electronics hacker. Jobs and Wozniak had been friends for several years, having met in 1971, when their mutual friend, Bill Fernandez, introduced 21-year-old Wozniak to 16-year-old Jobs. Steve Jobs managed to interest Wozniak in assembling a computer and selling it. As Apple continued to expand, the company began looking for an experienced executive to help manage its expansion. In 1983, Steve Jobs lured John Sculley away from Pepsi-Cola, to serve as Apple's CEO, reportedly[who?] asking, "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water to children, or do you want a chance to change the world?"[25][26] The following year, Apple set out to do just that, starting with a Super Bowl television commercial titled, "1984." At Apple's annual shareholders meeting on January 24, 1984, an emotional Jobs introduced the Macintosh to a wildly enthusiastic audience; Andy Hertzfeld described the scene as "pandemonium."[27] The Macintosh became the first commercially successful small computer with a graphical user interface. The development of the Mac was started by Jef Raskin, and eventually taken over by Jobs.

While Jobs was a persuasive and charismatic director for Apple, some of his employees from that time had described him as an erratic and temperamental manager. An industry-wide sales slump towards the end of 1984 caused a deterioration in Jobs's working relationship with Sculley, and at the end of May 1985 – following an internal power struggle and an announcement of significant layoffs – Sculley relieved Jobs of his duties as head of the Macintosh division.[28]

NeXT Computer

Around the same time, Jobs founded another computer company, NeXT Computer. Like the Apple Lisa, the NeXT workstation was technologically advanced; however, it was largely dismissed by industry as cost-prohibitive. Among those who could afford it, however, the NeXT workstation garnered a strong following because of its technical strengths, chief among them its object-oriented software development system. Jobs marketed NeXT products to the scientific and academic fields because of the innovative, experimental new technologies it incorporated (such as the Mach kernel, the digital signal processor chip, and the built-in Ethernet port).

The NeXT Cube was described by Jobs as an "interpersonal" computer, which he believed was the next step after "personal" computing. That is, if computers could allow people to communicate and collaborate together in an easy way, it would solve a lot of the problems that "personal" computing had come up against. During a time when e-mail for most people was plain text, Jobs loved to demo the NeXT's e-mail system, NeXTMail, as an example of his "interpersonal" philosophy. NeXTMail was one of the first to support universally visible, clickable embedded graphics and audio within e-mail.

Jobs ran NeXT with an obsession for aesthetic perfection, as evidenced by such things as the NeXTcube's magnesium case. This put considerable strain on NeXT's hardware division, and in 1993, after having sold only 50,000 machines, NeXT transitioned fully to software development with the release of NeXTSTEP/Intel.

Return to Apple

Steve Jobs on stage at Macworld Conference & Expo, San Francisco, January 11, 2005.
See also: "1998 to 2005: New beginnings" in Apple Inc.

In 1996, Apple announced that it would buy NeXT for $429 million. The deal was finalized in late 1996,[29] bringing Jobs back to the company he founded. He soon became Apple's interim CEO after the directors lost confidence in and ousted then-CEO Gil Amelio in a boardroom coup. In March 1998, in order to concentrate Apple's efforts on returning to profitability, Jobs immediately terminated a number of projects such as Newton, Cyberdog, and OpenDoc. In the coming months, many employees developed a fear of encountering Jobs while riding in the elevator, "afraid that they might not have a job when the doors opened. The reality was that Jobs' summary executions were rare, but a handful of victims was enough to terrorize a whole company."[30]

With the purchase of NeXT, much of the company's technology found its way into Apple products, most notably NeXTSTEP, which evolved into Mac OS X. Under Jobs's guidance the company increased sales significantly with the introduction of the iMac and other new products; since then, appealing designs and powerful branding have worked well for Apple. At the 2000 Macworld Expo, Jobs officially dropped the "interim" modifier from his title at Apple and became permanent CEO. Jobs quipped at the time that he would be using the title 'iCEO.' [31]

In recent years, the company has branched out, introducing and improving upon other digital appliances. With the introduction of the iPod portable music player, iTunes digital music software, and the iTunes Store, the company made forays into consumer electronics and music distribution. In 2007, Apple entered the cellular phone business with the introduction of the iPhone, a multi-touch display cell phone, iPod, and internet device. While stimulating innovation, Jobs also reminds his employees that "real artists ship,"[32] by which he means that delivering working products on time is as important as innovation and attractive design.

Jobs is both admired and criticized for his consummate skill at persuasion and salesmanship, which has been dubbed the "reality distortion field" and is particularly evident during his keynote speeches (colloquially known as "Stevenotes") at Macworld Expos and at Apple's own World Wide Developers Conferences.

In 2005, Jobs responded to criticism of Apple's poor recycling programs for e-waste in the U.S. by lashing out at environmental and other advocates at Apple's Annual Meeting in Cupertino in April. However, a few weeks later, Apple announced it would take back iPods for free at its retail stores. The Computer TakeBack Campaign responded by flying a banner from a plane over the Stanford University graduation at which Jobs was the commencement speaker. The banner read "Steve — Don't be a mini-player recycle all e-waste". In 2006 he further expanded Apple's recycling programs to any U.S. customer who buys a new Mac. This program includes shipping and "environmentally friendly disposal" of their old systems.[33]

Stock options backdating issue

In 2001, Steve Jobs was granted stock options in the amount of 7.5 million shares of Apple with an exercise price of $18.30, which allegedly should have been $21.10, thereby incurring taxable income of $20,000,000 that he did not report as income. Apple overstated its earnings by that same amount. If found liable, Jobs may have faced a number of criminal charges and civil penalties. Apple claimed that the options were originally granted at a special board meeting that may never have taken place. Furthermore, the investigation is focusing on false dating of the options resulting in a retroactive $20 million increase in the exercise price. The case is the subject of active criminal and civil government investigations,[34] though an independent internal Apple investigation completed on December 29, 2006 found that Jobs was unaware of these issues and that the options granted to him were returned without being exercised in 2003.[35] On July 1, 2008 a $7 billion class action suit was filed against several members of the Apple Board of Directors for revenue lost due to the alleged securities fraud.[36][37]

Pixar and Disney

In 1986, Jobs bought The Graphics Group (later renamed Pixar) from Lucasfilm's computer graphics division for the price of $10 million, $5 million of which was given to the company as capital.[38]

The new company, which was originally based in San Rafael, California but has since relocated to Emeryville, California, was initially intended to be a high-end graphics hardware developer. After years of unprofitability selling the Pixar Image Computer, it contracted with Disney to produce a number of computer-animated feature films, which Disney would co-finance and distribute.

The first film produced by the partnership, Toy Story, brought fame and critical acclaim to the studio when it was released in 1995. Over the next ten plus years, under Pixar's creative chief John Lasseter, the company would produce the box-office hits A Bug's Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003), The Incredibles (2004), Cars (2006), Ratatouille (2007), and WALL-E (2008). Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and WALL-E each received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, an award introduced in 2001.

In the years 2003 and 2004, as Pixar's contract with Disney was running out, Jobs and Disney chief executive Michael Eisner tried but failed to negotiate a new partnership, and in early 2004 Jobs announced that Pixar would seek a new partner to distribute its films once its contract with Disney expired.

In October 2005, Bob Iger replaced Eisner at Disney, and Iger quickly worked to patch up relations with Jobs and Pixar. On January 24, 2006, Jobs and Iger announced that Disney had agreed to purchase Pixar in an all-stock transaction worth $7.4 billion. Once the deal closed, Jobs became The Walt Disney Company's largest single shareholder with approximately 7% of the company's stock.[11] Jobs's holdings in Disney far exceed those of Eisner, who holds 1.7%, and Disney family member Roy E. Disney, who held about 1% of the company's stock and whose criticisms of Eisner included the soured Pixar relationship and accelerated his ousting. Jobs joined the company's board of directors upon completion of the merger.

Jobs also helps oversee Disney and Pixar's combined animation businesses with a seat on a special six-man steering committee. One of the committee's first decisions was to discontinue the production of so-called "cheapquels" (cheap direct-to-video sequels).

Management style

Much has been made of Jobs's aggressive and demanding personality. Fortune noted that he "is considered one of Silicon Valley's leading egomaniacs."[39] Commentaries on his temperamental style can be found in Mike Moritz's The Little Kingdom, one of the few authorized biographies of Jobs; Jeffrey S. Young's unauthorized Steve Jobs: The Journey Is the Reward; The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, by Alan Deutschman; and iCon: Steve Jobs, by Jeffrey S. Young & William L. Simon.

In iCon: Steve Jobs the authors point out that Paul Jobs, who adopted Steve, was also known to be aggressive: "Paul was soon hired as a kind of strongarm man by a finance company that sought help collecting on auto loans — an early repo man. Both his bulk and his aggressive personality were well suited to this somewhat dangerous pursuit, and his mechanical bent enabled him to pick the locks of the cars he had to repossess and hot-wire them if necessary."

Jobs has always aspired to position Apple and its products at the forefront of the information technology industry by foreseeing and setting trends, at least in terms of innovation and style. He summed up that self-concept at the end of his keynote speech at the Macworld Conference and Expo in January 2007 by quoting ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky:[40]

There's an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. 'I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.' And we've always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very very beginning. And we always will."

—Steve Jobs

Floyd Norman said that at Pixar, Jobs was a "mature, mellow individual" and never interfered with the creative process of the filmmakers.[41]

Personal life

Jobs married Laurene Powell, on March 18, 1991. Presiding over the wedding was the Zen Buddhist monk Kobun Chino Otogowa.[42] The couple have three children. Jobs also has a daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs (born 1978), from his relationship with Bay Area painter Chrisann Brennan.[43] She briefly raised their daughter on welfare when Jobs denied paternity, claiming that he was sterile; he later acknowledged paternity.[43] Lisa Brennan-Jobs is a journalist who wrote for The Harvard Crimson, and Apple's Lisa Computer was named for her.[44]

In the unauthorized biography The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, author Alan Deutschman reports that Jobs once dated Joan Baez. Deutschman quotes Elizabeth Holmes, a friend of Jobs from his time at Reed College, as saying she "believed that Steve became the lover of Joan Baez in large measure because Baez had been the lover of Bob Dylan." In another unauthorized biography, iCon: Steve Jobs by Jeffrey S. Young & William L. Simon, the authors suggest that Jobs might have married Baez, but her age at the time (41) meant it was unlikely the couple could have children. Baez included a mention of Jobs in the acknowledgments of her 1987 memoir And A Voice To Sing With.

Steve Jobs is also a devoted Beatles fan.[citation needed] He has referenced them on more than one occasion at Keynotes and also was interviewed on a showing of a Paul McCartney concert. When asked about his business model on 60 Minutes, he replied:[citation needed]

My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each other's negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are not done by one person, they are done by a team of people.

In 1982, Jobs bought an apartment in The San Remo, an apartment building in New York City with a politically progressive reputation, where Demi Moore, Steven Spielberg, Steve Martin, and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, daughter of Rita Hayworth, also had apartments. With the help of I.M. Pei, Jobs spent years renovating his apartment in the top two floors of the building's north tower, only to sell it almost two decades later to U2 frontman Bono. Jobs had never moved in.[45][46]

In 1984, Jobs purchased a 17,000-square-foot (1,600 m2), 14 bedroom Spanish Colonial mansion, designed by George Washington Smith in Woodside, California, also known as Jackling House. Although it reportedly remained in an almost unfurnished state, Jobs lived in the mansion for ten years. According to reports, he kept an old BMW motorcycle in the living room, and let Bill Clinton use it in 1998. He allowed the mansion to fall into a state of disrepair, planning to demolish the house and build a smaller home on the property; but he met with complaints from local preservationists over his plans. In June 2004, the Woodside Town Council gave Jobs approval to demolish the mansion, on the condition that he advertise the property for a year to see if someone would move it to another location and restore it. A number of people expressed interest, including several with experience in restoring old property, but no agreements to that effect were reached. Later that same year, a local preservationist group began seeking legal action to prevent demolition. In January 2007 Jobs was denied the right to demolish the property, by a court decision.[47]

He usually wears a black long-sleeved mock turtleneck made by St. Croix, Levi's 501 blue jeans, and New Balance 992 sneakers.[48] He is a vegetarian.[7]

Jobs had a public war of words with Dell Computer CEO Michael Dell, starting when Jobs first criticized Dell for making "un-innovative beige boxes."[49] On October 6, 1997, in a Gartner Symposium, when Michael Dell was asked what he would do if he owned then-troubled Apple Computer, he said "I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders."[50] In 2006, Steve Jobs sent an email to all employees when Apple's market capitalisation rose above Dell's. The email read:[51]

Team, it turned out that Michael Dell wasn't perfect at predicting the future. Based on today's stock market close, Apple is worth more than Dell. Stocks go up and down, and things may be different tomorrow, but I thought it was worth a moment of reflection today. Steve.

In 2005, Steve Jobs banned all books published by John Wiley & Sons from Apple Stores in response to their publishing an unauthorized biography, iCon: Steve Jobs.[52]

Health concerns

In mid-2004, Jobs announced to his employees that he had been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his pancreas.[53] The prognosis for pancreatic cancer is usually very grim; Jobs, however, stated that he had a rare, far less aggressive type known as islet cell neuroendocrine tumor.[53] After initially resisting the idea of conventional medical intervention and embarking on a special diet to thwart the disease, Jobs underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy (or "Whipple procedure") in July 2004 that successfully removed the tumor.[54][55] Jobs apparently did not require nor receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy.[53][56] During Jobs' absence, Timothy D. Cook, head of worldwide sales and operations at Apple, ran the company.[53]

In early August 2006, Jobs delivered the keynote for Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. His "thin, almost gaunt" appearance and unusually "listless" delivery,[57][58] together with his choice to delegate significant portions of his keynote to other presenters, inspired a flurry of media and internet speculation about his health.[59] In contrast, according to an Ars Technica journal report, WWDC attendees who saw Jobs in person said he "looked fine";[60] following the keynote, an Apple spokesperson said that "Steve's health is robust."[61]

Two years later, similar concerns followed Jobs' 2008 WWDC keynote address;[62] Apple officials stated Jobs was victim to a "common bug" and that he was taking antibiotics,[63] while others surmised his cachectic appearance was due to the aforementioned Whipple procedure.[64] During a July conference call discussing Apple earnings, participants responded to repeated questions about Steve Jobs' health by insisting that it was a "private matter." Others, however, opined that shareholders had a right to know more, given Jobs' hands-on approach to running his company.[65] The New York Times published an article based on an off-the-record phone conversation with Jobs, noting that "while his health issues have amounted to a good deal more than 'a common bug,' they weren’t life-threatening and he doesn’t have a recurrence of cancer."[66]

On August 28, 2008, Bloomberg mistakenly published a 2500-word obituary to Jobs in its corporate news service, containing blank spaces for his age and cause of death. (News carriers customarily stockpile up-to-date obituaries to facilitate news delivery in the event of a well-known figure's untimely death.) Although promptly rectified, many news carriers and blogs reported on the error,[67][68][69] intensifying rumors concerning Jobs' health.[70] Jobs responded at Apple's September 2008 keynote Let's Rock by quoting Mark Twain: "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated";[71] at a subsequent media event, Jobs concluded his presentation with a slide reading "110 / 70", referring to his blood pressure, stating he would not address further questions about his health.[72]

On December 16, 2008, Apple announced that marketing vice-president Phil Schiller would deliver the company's final keynote address at the Macworld Conference and Expo 2009, again reviving questions about Jobs' health.[73][74][75] In a statement given on January 5, 2009 on,[76] Jobs said that he had been suffering from a "hormone imbalance" for several months.[77] On January 14, 2009, in an internal Apple memo, Jobs wrote that in the previous week he had "learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought" and announced a six-month leave of absence until the end of June 2009 to allow him to better focus on his health. Tim Cook, who had previously acted as CEO in Jobs' 2004 absence, became acting CEO of Apple,[14] with Jobs still involved with "major strategic decisions."[14]

In response to doubts regarding Apple's veracity regarding Jobs' health, John Gruber of Daring Fireball wrote that Apple's disclosures should be taken as accurate, since otherwise the board would be in breach of their legal responsibilities as directors of a publicly-held company.[78]

In popular culture

Jobs was prominently featured in three films about the history of the personal computing industry:

Jobs was also parodied in Mypods and Boomsticks, a 2008 The Simpsons episode which features an adventure into the 'world' of Mapple, MyPods, and "Steve Mobbs".


He was awarded the National Medal of Technology from President Ronald Reagan in 1985 with Steve Wozniak (the first people to ever receive the honor),[79] and a Jefferson Award for Public Service in the category "Greatest Public Service by an Individual 35 Years or Under" (aka the Samuel S. Beard Award) in 1987.[80]

On November 27, 2007, Jobs was named the most powerful person in business by Fortune Magazine.[81]

On December 5, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted Jobs into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts.[82]


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  80. ^
  81. ^ 25 most powerful people in business 1. Steve Jobs
  82. ^ Jobs inducted into California Hall of Fame, California Museum, Accessed 2007.


External links



Business positions
Preceded by
Gil Amelio
CEO of Apple
Succeeded by
NAME Jobs, Steve
SHORT DESCRIPTION CEO and Co-Founder of Apple Inc.
DATE OF BIRTH February 24, 1955
PLACE OF BIRTH San Francisco, California, U.S.
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