Today in media history: Steve Jobs leaves and returns to Apple

September 16, 2014
Category: Uncategorized

Two of the biggest news stories about Apple’s Steve Jobs took place on September 16.

Jobs resigned from Apple on September 16, 1985. Twelve years later, on September 16, 1997, he became interim CEO.

Although the producers of this 1985 video couldn’t have known it at the time, they recorded one of the last interviews with Jobs before he left the company.

“In the wake of his resignation from Apple Computer last week, cofounder Steve Jobs spent three and a half hours talking about his ordeal, as well as his past and future, with Newsweek’s Gerald C. Lubenow and Michael Rogers….

Q. Once John Sculley came in and took over, how did your role change? Was there some point when you thought, ‘I’m not having a lot of fun running this giant corporation?’
A. I was very happy in the early days of Macintosh. Really, up until very near the end. I don’t think that my role in life is to run big organizations and do incremental improvements. Well, you know, I think that John felt that after the reorganization, it was important for me to not be at Apple for him to accomplish what he wanted to accomplish. And, as you know, he issued that public statement that there was no role for me there then or in the future, or in the foreseeable future. And that was about as black-and-white as you need to make things. Probably a little more black-and-white than it needed to be. And I, you know, I respect his right to make that decision.”

— “Jobs Talks About His Rise and Fall. The onetime whiz kid professes no bitterness toward Apple, but he is plainly hurt by his abrupt ouster,” Newsweek, 1985

In this 1997 video, recorded just a few weeks after he became interim CEO, Steve Jobs talks to employees about turning the company around. He asks: “Who is Apple and what is it that we stand for? Where do we fit in this world?”

“At 41, Jobs looks pretty much as he did at 30, or even 25. He still wears jeans every day, usually with a black turtleneck and running shoes. But Jobs says that he is a different person than he was when he left Apple in 1985, and that Apple is a different company. He insists that he is coming back to lend a hand, not to try to be the struggling company’s savior.

….Apple Computers, after 11 years without him, is a vastly different company, with an entirely new set of needs and goals. The question is whether Steve Jobs has become a different Steve Jobs than the one who created it in the first place.”

— “Creating Jobs: Apple’s Founder Goes Home Again” New York Times, 1997

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