Larry Ellison, chairman and CTO of Oracle, has revealed in a speech at the University of Southern California that, in the mid-1990s, he wanted to purchase Apple, but his best friend Steve Jobs said no.
Ellison explained how he and Jobs took a walk in Castle Rock State Park in 1995 to discuss how he wanted to regain control of Apple – at that time, Steve Jobs was no longer part of the company, after being forced to leave ten years before. Ellison had the perfect plan that would have been quickly applied should have Jobs agreed: purchase Apple Computer and name his best friend as CEO.
Basically, Ellison wanted to buy the whole company, which at that time was valued at $5 billion, and then bring Steve Jobs back at the helm. But it came as a surprise that Steve Jobs himself refused.
“We both had really good credit, and I had already arranged to borrow all the money. All Steve had to do was say yes,” Ellison explained in his speech (via).
In fact, Steve Jobs had a different plan: he wanted Apple to purchase his company called next and then become part of the Apple board, which would have ensured a smooth transition to the CEO role. Jobs hoped that, once he returned to the company, he could discuss with Apple’s administration team and get back his CEO position more easily.
“I said okay. That might work. But Steve, if we don’t buy Apple, how are we going to make any money?” Ellison said. “Larry, this is why it’s so important that I’m your friend. You don’t need any more money. … I’m not doing this for the money, I don’t want to get paid. If I do this I need to do this standing on the moral high ground,” Steve Jobs replied.
“Steve Jobs was right”
Steve Jobs eventually returned to Apple, first as an interim and then as a full-time CEO, having appointed Ellison as a member of the board.
“The lesson here is very clear to me. Steve was right. After a certain point, it can’t be about the money. After a certain point you can’t spend it no matter how hard you try. I know, I’ve tried hard,” Ellison explains.
Without a doubt, Steve Jobs was the right man to head Apple, as he then turned it into the most valuable company on the planet. And this is exactly why Tim Cook’s job is so difficult: everyone expects him to be the next Steve Jobs with the same ingenious vision and long-term plan to always improve profits and sell more.
At this point, Tim Cook is under fire for Apple’s most recent performance, as the company reported the first iPhone sales decline since launch and its stock value dropped significantly.
Some went as far as calling Tim Cook “,” pointing out that Apple needs nothing else than a visionary. In the meantime, however, Apple goes on with its usual business and is getting ready for the debut of key products for its future, including new Macs, iOS 10, and .