Steve Jobs interim CEO: Regaining His Respect
Apple’s new board of directors formalized the role of Jobs by naming him interim chief executive of the company until a new CEO is named. Jobs returned to Apple late last year in an advisory capacity to build a new operating system for the Mac, after it bought another company he had founded, NeXT Software.
”There is speculation that whoever gets in there will be second-guessed on a daily basis by Steve Jobs,” J.P. Morgan analyst Daniel Kunstler told CNET’s NEWS.COM in late 1997.
Steve Jobs, wanted a great campaign to rebuild brand image. Not a advertisment talking about there products, but a advertisment talking about Apple, its Believes, What it Stands for, and its ambitions.
This advertisment is known as one of the greatest advertisments of Apple. This ad credited those who thought different.
This ad credited those who thought different, who were unconventional. Steve Jobs gave analogy of Nike. There was something different with the advertisments that Nike made. Those advertisments, never talked of there product. They talked of athlete. They talked of the real sportsmanship, they credit all sports figures.
Jobs wanted to do the same magic with Apple Advertisment. The Apple advertisment credited all the people who moved the society, who brought a change and moved us forward. There advertisment was 60 second clip, showcasing great leaders of all time, and the narration thatthat accompanies it was:
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
By December it was clear that they would not be able to find a CEO to suit Apple and handle Steve Jobs at the same time. As a result if was clear that Steve Jobs sooner or later had to be the CEO.
After becoming CEO life became terrible, going office early and getting home late with lot of exhaustion. He had to manage Pixar and Apple parrallelly. And then he had to take Apple to great height, and then manage family.
Added was criticism from competitors. At one point Michael Dell said that had he been Steve Jobs, he would return all the money to shareholders. This was something Steve Jobs didn’t tolerate. He lashed on Dell, to tell his work ethics and the class that CEOs should have. And he used it to motivate his employees to rage war against Dell.
Apple had the biggest debate of all times over the merits and demerits of licensing its software. Most of the software guys like Alan Kay wanted to keep system open license there OS, in the way Microsoft was doing at that time and later Google did.
BUT Steve Jobs disagreed. He wanted to create great products, with Hardware and Software closely tied to each other to create a great user experience and ecosystem. Moreover, licensing meant being vulnerable to clones of there products.
Phil Schlider was one of the people who built the next generation of Apple. One thing Steve Jobs #hate was powerpoint presentations. He wanted things to happen on table in the wild.
One thing Steve Jobs wanted to do after filtering out employees, and stock options, and then trying to fix loop holes, was to filter products. Apple at that time had multiple version of similar products with similar features in market.
He believed it was confusing consumer. It was making it difficult to decided which Apple products to buy. Some engineers were angry, but few were happy because even after there products were cancelled atleast they would get to work on something productive in future. This including killing there stylus based PDA called Newton.
He decided that there 4 products Apple needed,
- a consumer desktop device (Power Macintosh G3)
- consumer portable device (Powerbook G3)
- professional desktop device (iMac)
- professional portable device (iBook)