May 24, 1985: Jobs Fails to Oust Sculley

by Chris Seibold May 24, 2011

Then President John Sculley had received the okay from the Board of Directors to strip Steve Jobs of any real power inside Apple but hadn't gotten around to doing so.

In the interim, Jobs had been approaching high level Apple execs about ousting Sculley while he was visiting China to discuss education and computing. The last exec Jobs approached was Jean-Louis Gassee. Upon hearing the news, Gassee informed Sculley of Steve's plans the night before Sculley was to leave for China.

Sculley went on the offensive. He convened a meeting of the executive staff and asked Jobs about the rumor. Jobs responded with the following:

"I think you're bad for Apple and I think you're the wrong person to run this company."

Sculley then asked each executive in attendance to choose between Jobs or himself. They unanimously chose Sculley. John Sculley avoided a coup and Steve Jobs was relegated to a back office on May 24, 1985.


  • Nope! Wrong again.  This took place in 1985 NOT 1989.  Good Christ!  Will you people ever get a date right????

    appleiscool had this to say on May 24, 2006 Posts: 10
  • It’s on the main text appleiscool.

    Robomac had this to say on May 24, 2006 Posts: 846
  • I’ll take ownership for that mistake, I miscopied and pasted the title. Appleiscool, we really try hard here to get things right. I appreciate the corrections, but can you drop the attitude? smile

    Hadley Stern had this to say on May 24, 2006 Posts: 114
  • You people always make mistakes like this.  The only reason why I read the articles is because I enjoy the stories.  I just think that for you to do justice to the stories, you need to stop making all of the little mistakes like getting the year wrong.

    appleiscool had this to say on May 25, 2006 Posts: 10
  • Stories like this have always made me sad. But as a psychologist I get more and more interested in the dynamics of “Kill the competent creative”. Anyone with strong ideas and opinions about how things should be done is ‘arrogant’ even when he’s right. There is even an expression in American English, Nobody likes a wise guy. People who don’t get things done, are seen as more human, while someone who does the best he can, gets all the negative projection produced by jealousy. The evil stupid outnumber them and are better organised. Well they’ll better be, because the perfection achieved is felt as an insult given by the ‘arrogant’.

    This attitude is common when you drop the name Apple.  Then you are elitist, why not an Übermensch. An arrogant supremacist who thinks he’s better than the rest.

    When a researcher in Japan got interested in creating the then missing blue LED, and presented his ideas, he was formally forbidden to devote any of his time to develop his ideas. But Nakamura did it anyway and in 1993 he created the first quality blue led. The company Nichia made billions of $ with this invention, and gave the guy a bonus of 100€. Eventually he sued and was granted 146-million €, left Japan in search for a inventor-friendly environment, and landed at a University in California.

    WAWA had this to say on May 24, 2007 Posts: 89
  • Oops, the subject of my comment is not clear. I was referring to the dismissal of Jobs.

    WAWA had this to say on May 24, 2007 Posts: 89
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