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This was the Real Reason Why Apple Fired Steve Jobs, Explained

Steve Jobs, co-founder and eventual CEO of Apple is something of an entrepreneurial legend known for taking the tech giant from basement startup to one of the most important influential and profitable companies in the world. His career and life journey however were anything but plain sailing. A successful millionaire by age 22 Jobs was famous for sweating the small stuff and built quite the reputation for being difficult to work with, which is so often the case with visionaries who are way ahead of their time.

behind the fall of steve jobs

His uncompromising work ethic, millenarian management approach and pirate side project eventually led him to being fired from his very own company!

A turn of events that shaped him as a creator and led him to returning to Apple to make it the company that it is today. Here's how it went down two men founded Apple.

Also Read: The Book thatChanged Steve Jobs and Shaped Apple Inc!

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak who together set out to build and sell an all-new hand-built personal computer named the Apple I. There was a third co-founder named Ronald Wayne but he only stuck around for 12 days before selling his 10% stake back to Steve and Steve for $800.

A share of the company that would be worth around 200 billion dollars today. Jobs was always the big ideas guy who also looked after the business side of things such as marketing and sales. Wozniak was the more practical of the pair taking care of the actual building and engineering of the personal computers both were equally ambitious in their efforts and were eager to get their product out into the big wide world however neither had any real experience of running an actual company.

Sales from the Apple I brought in enough money for the pair to develop a newer and improved product, the Apple II which is the machine that brought Apple out of the hobbyist market and into the big leagues.

The Apple II sparked a ton of interest and attracted some much-needed venture capital from early investors leading to Apple being fully incorporated in 1976. One of the said early investors Mark Marcula saw huge potential in Apple as a company but also felt that Wozniak and Jobs lacked the discipline needed to fulfill it. For this reason Mike Marcula brought in Apple's first CEO in 1977 an experienced executive named Michael Scott who Marcula would subsequently replace in 1981 following Apple's IPO.

Apple went from strength to strength through the 80s and quickly became a direct competitor of the other computing solutions that were dominating the market at the time.

To make sure that Apple stayed on track, Jobs wanted to focus as much of his attention on product development as opposed to running a big company so he approached John Scully the then Pepsi CEO to take over the reins at Apple.

Famously selling the role by saying “Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life or do you want to come with me and change the world?”

Scully took up the offer freeing Steve Jobs up to man the development teams without interruption or distraction. During this time Apple was working tirelessly on both the Lisa and the Macintosh, two different computers being built by two different teams under the same Apple roof.

young steve jobs old image

This created a negative sense of competition leading to a tense working environment and a lot of in-house friction. Jobs was notoriously heavy-handed in the early developments of the Lisa platform before being pushed back by management which is when he made the move across to the Macintosh department and started his infamous band of Apple pirates.

The Lisa computer would ultimately end up being a failure. It simply cost too much and even with its exciting software it just couldn't compete with established computers already on the market. The much anticipated launch of the Macintosh a year later was met with much more excitement however it didn't fare well in terms of sales either.

Also Read: Why Apple Started Making Its Own Chips? Explained

It soon became very apparent that Jobs and Scully's vision for the company differed greatly and the fact that their flagship products were underperforming wasn't helping an already worsening situation in May 1985 Scully put into action a plan to reorganize Apple. A plan that would remove Jobs from the Macintosh group and put him in charge of new product development. This reorganization of the company would essentially leave Jobs powerless within the company that he started, so in response Jobs developed a plan to get rid of Scully entirely and take over the controls of Apple's CEO.

Jobs’s plan to get Scully outed was leaked to the board of directors and when confronted Jobs said that he would be leaving Apple. The board declined his initial resignation and asked him profusely to reconsider however Scully was persistent in his efforts to put the reins on Jobs. Scully soon acquired all the votes needed for him to go ahead and reorganize the company which led to Jobs handing in his second and final letter of resignation.

On September 17, 1985, years later in a speech, Jobs would go on to comment on the matter saying that,

“We had just released our finest creation for Macintosh a year earlier and I just turned 30 and then i got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started! well as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me and for the first year or so things went well but then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out when we did our board of directors sided with him and so at 30, I was out and very publicly helped what had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone and it was devastating.”

There's a lot of debate surrounding whether Steve Jobs resigned from Apple or was fired however most can agree that being outed from the company that you started, nurtured and put your life into is no easy pill to swallow.

Also Read: What happened to Iphone's Fingerprint Sensor? What’s the Future of Apple Touch ID?

After Steve Jobs resignation Apple saw very little success in its products and the company lost its place in the competitive race to become the go-to home for PCs. In a time which many consider to be Apple's gap years Jobs himself was anything but idle he would go on to start a new company venture called “neXt” which focused on building computers for higher education.

Next's initial efforts didn't go down great as their hardware offerings were so overpriced but the software that Jobs and his teams were making were causing quite the stir in the computer industry. In 1986 barely a year after leaving Apple, Steve Jobs bought a graphics division from Lucasfilm called Pixar which he would develop into its own separate company. Pixar spent its infancy building and developing 3d animation tools which set new standards in the world of animation. Pixar would go on to build a partnership with Disney which led to the release of Toy Story, the first 3d CGI animated film of its kind and the highest grossing movie of 1995.

A decade later Disney would go on to buy Pixar outright for 7.4 billion and Steve Jobs will become the single largest shareholder in Disney as a result. So Steve Jobs was keeping busy and financially was on the rise while Apple was heading down a downward spiral of flopping products and an unloved operating system.

By the end of 1996, Apple was clutching at their last straws and sought a change that would resurrect them from the ashes this change would manifest itself in the purchase of NEXT, bringing Jobs along with it as an advisor to the CEO.

when apple fired steve jobs

Apple needed a new OS and at the time NEXT was doing great things so the acquisition of the relatively small company made perfect sense. Purchasing Next cost Apple 429 million dollars but Jobs was back and his advisory position was very short-lived with Apple stock trading at an all-time low.

Gila Malio the current Apple CEO was forced out by the board and Steve Jobs fell nicely into place as the interim CEO until the board could appoint a suitable replacement but Jobs being the proactive leader that he was started to make some big decisions almost immediately.

Also Read: What is Apple’s working strategy Explained in detail- The Apple Masterplan.

Decisions that paid off big time, failing products were immediately cancelled and the company's focus was retargeted towards the return of the Mac. Early in his return Jobs also worked with Bill Gates to secure a controversial 150 million dollar investment, that Apple would use to bump up advertising and highlight existing products that were at least bringing in some money to the company.

In 1998 Apple's saving grace product was finally introduced the i-Mac, the all-in-one computer that catapulted Apple into the forefront of the consumer's eye, The imac was an instant success and changed the trajectory of Apple forever.

In 2000 Steve Jobs was officially appointed as the full-fledged CEO giving him back the power to make Apple as great as he always intended. Under Jobs command, Apple took control of the smartphone market with the iphone, breathed new life into music sales with itunes and blazed away with the advent of the ipad.

By the time Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO in 2010 due to his degrading health, Apple was on the cusp of having the world's largest market cap an achievement that would not have been possible without his vision, uncompromising desire for perfection and outright genius.

Steve Jobs changed the world and revolutionized the tech industry and will forever be remembered as one of the greatest minds of all time. Hope you liked this post and if you did, do check out other posts on Techronicle about Steve Jobs and Apple INC also don’t forget to share your views in the comment box down below.

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