Charlie Chaplin was a pioneer in the early days of Hollywood and became the most recognized face on the planet with a career spanning 40 years.
Gene Kelly was the most creative and athletic dancer of his time and pushed the boundaries of dance on film.
Steve Jobs revolutionized digital entertainment with technological innovation and pushing a major shift in media consumption by breaking the hold of the music and movie moguls.
See also: www.boldbrashandbrilliant.com
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Steve Jobs Fired from Apple? Yes in 1985
It's perhaps one of the most famous -- or infamous --
personnel moves in Silicon Valley history: then Apple CEO John Sculley's 1985
firing of Steve Jobs. But until now, we've never known much about how it
At a Forbes conference in Bali last week, however, Sculley
opened up about the firing, telling some of the richest and most powerful
people on Earth just how he came to deliver Jobs' pink slip.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET)
At the conference, Sculley spent eight minutes rehashing the
infamous history after an audience member asked about it. "The ballroom
then sat in rapt silence as Sculley delved into details," Forbes reported
today, "cast blame, and reflected on lessons learned."
Essentially, Sculley told the crowd, it was the Apple
board's fault for creating an environment in which Sculley, the former Pepsi
wunderkind, and Jobs, who lured him away with the famous challenge to make a
difference instead of spending his career with sugar water, clashed.
The main reason for that clash, Sculley recalled, was the
introduction of the Macintosh Office in 1985. The second-gen Mac's launch had
been panned, with critics calling the new computer a "toy," and
ridiculing its small computing power.
"Steve went into
a deep depression," Sculley said. As a result, "Steve came to me and
he said, 'I want to drop the price of the Macintosh and I want to move the
advertising, shift a large portion of it away from the Apple 2 over to the Mac."
"I said, 'Steve, it's not going to make any difference.
The reason the Mac is not selling has nothing to do with the price or with the
advertising. If you do that, we risk throwing the company into a loss.' And he
just totally disagreed with me."
"And so I said, "Well, I'm gonna go to the board.
And he said, 'I don't believe you'll do it. And I said: Watch me."
Jobs' problems with the launch didn't come in a vacuum,
Sculley explained. Already, Jobs had overseen a slew of product failures,
including the Lisa and the Apple 3, and revenues from the Apple 2 were slowing
considerably. The company needed a major new revenue source to get the
Macintosh line where it needed to go. Sculley said that the board gave him the
power to first ax Jobs as head of the Mac division, and then from the company
altogether. And was it the right thing to do?
Sculley said he didn't have the business expertise at the
time to fully understand what visionary leadership was. "What would have
happened if we hadn't have had that showdown?...I did not have the breadth of
experience at that time to really appreciate just how different leadership is
when you are shaping an industry," Sculley said, "as Bill Gates did
or Steve Jobs did, versus when you're a competitor in an industry, in a public
company, where you don't make mistakes because if you lose, you're out."
Added Sculley at the conference in Bali, "My sense is
that there could have been a different outcome."
Indeed, over the years, Sculley, like so many others,
recognized Jobs' true genius as a leader. In 2011, for example, he called Jobs
"the greatest CEO ever."
Sculley Fires Steve
Former Apple CEO John Sculley, speaking at a Forbes conference in Bali last week, explains the circumstances behind his firing of Steve Jobs in 1985.