John Sculley: Forcing Steve Jobs out of Apple was a mistake

“John Sculley was hired from PepsiCo by the iconic but temperamental Steve Jobs with a legendary pitch, ‘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?’ Sculley went on to join Apple, but ended up becoming part of a corporate legend by firing Jobs from the company he had founded,” Pankaj Doval reports for TNN.

“As he gears up to start a new venture focused around India for selling low-end mobile phones (not competing with Apple’s top-notch devices), Sculley — now 75 — tells TOI that he regrets the decision taken in 1985 by the Apple board of directors to move Jobs out of the company,” Doval reports. “‘I think, in hindsight, for the founder to leave was a mistake and I was a part of that. But, Steve in 1985 was not the same as the Steve in 1997. By the time he came back, he was a much more matured and experienced executive, while back in the eighties, he was still a young learning executive,’ [Sculley said].”

“[Sculley] still feels that some way would have been found to have them both work for the company and this could have been facilitated by Apple’s board then,” Doval reports. “‘I think there could have been a way, in hindsight, where Steve and I did not need to have a confrontation, and we could have worked it out. And, perhaps the board could have played a bigger role in that. But you can’t change history.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Bozo.

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Failed Apple CEO John Sculley: If I were Samsung, I would tap Ron Johnson – April 10, 2013
If John Sculley says Apple must do this then Apple probably shouldn’t – January 17, 2013
Former Apple CEO Sculley gives his take on Steve Jobs – January 13, 2012
John Sculley: I wish I told Steve Jobs ‘This is your company, let’s figure out how you can come back and be CEO’ – Septemeber 13, 2011
Steve Jobs steps down the first time: The 1985 press coverage – August 26, 2011
John Sculley: Apple’s big mistake was hiring me as CEO – October 14, 2010
Sculley: Uh, maybe I shouldn’t have fired Steve Jobs – June 7, 2010

58 Comments

  1. Well, as everyone has said, yes and no.

    Yes, you guys were morons, but no, Apple and SJ would likely not be at the heights they are now had SJ not had his “walk in the wilderness” and Apple run into the ground.

    I only wish maybe SJ had given traditional medicine more faith in retrospect.

  2. I never want to wish anyone any bad luck, but in this case, I cannot say that I’m hoping Sculley’s new Indian company is a runaway success. 🙂

    I believe that due to Sculley’s specific actions at Apple, American workers as a whole have had to put up with way more Windows BS then we should have ever had to.

  3. If SJ remained at Apple…blah..blah..blah.. seems SJ needed to find a new version of himself…away from Apple. The result speaks for itself. Sometimes you have to lose what is seemingly important so you can find what really is important.

  4. No, it was a mistake to hire John Sculley. Trying to fill the CEO position of a visionary company with the CEO of a commodity company whose product guarantees diabetes if you drink to a day was the big mistake!

  5. Steve Jobs himself, in 2005, had this to say about it:

    “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

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