In October 2003, Apple CEO Steve Jobs “found himself confronting a life-and-death decision,” Peter Elkind reports for Fortune Magazine.
“A biopsy revealed that Jobs had a rare – and treatable – form of [pancreatic cancer]… Yet to the horror of the tiny circle of intimates in whom he’d confided, Jobs… decided to employ alternative methods to treat his pancreatic cancer, hoping to avoid the operation through a special diet – a course of action that hasn’t been disclosed until now,” Elkind reports.
“For nine months Jobs pursued this approach, as Apple’s board of directors and executive team secretly agonized over the situation – and whether the company needed to disclose anything about its CEO’s health to investors,” Elkind reports.
“No less an authority than Jack Welch has called Jobs “the most successful CEO today.” Jobs, at age 53, has even become a global cultural guru, shaping what entertainment we watch, how we listen to music, and what sort of objects we use to work and play. He has changed the game for entire industries,” Elkind reports.
“Jobs is also among the most controversial figures in business. He oozes smug superiority, lacing his public comments with ridicule of Apple’s rivals, which he casts as mediocre, evil, and – worst of all – lacking taste,” Elkind reports.
MacDailyNews Take: It isn’t bragging if you can back it up and there’s nothing wrong with telling the truth.
Elkind continues, “Says Palo Alto venture capitalist Jean-Louis Gasse, a former Apple executive who once worked with Jobs: ‘Democracies don’t make great products. You need a competent tyrant.'”
“Fair enough,” Elkind writes. “But it is also important to understand the ways in which Jobs’ attempts to manipulate his world pose risks for Apple – and thus its investors… It is Steve Jobs himself who is the wonder – as well as the worry.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Marc” for the heads up.]
Owen Thomas writes for Valleywag, “The author, Peter Elkind, has long been rumored to be working on a damning profile of Jobs, centering on backdated stock options. That Fortune is now leading off its story with Jobs’s cancer, not the options scandal, tells us what happened to that story: Elkind couldn’t get the goods. This is a cover story in more sense than one.”
Full article here.
[UPDATE: March 5, 2008, 8:15am EST: Added Valleywag excerpt and link as per MDN reader TReid below.]