Former Apple CEO John Sculley: Forcing Steve Jobs Out Was a 'Mistake'

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Former Apple CEO John Sculley states that he now regrets his decision to remove Steve Jobs from the company in 1985 and that the move to force the co-founder out was a "mistake," according to a new report from the Times of India.

    Steve Jobs (left) and John Sculley (right) in 1984 ​
    Sculley, who recently launched Obi, a low-cost smartphone brand for India, added that differences between he and Jobs began over the founder's desire to subsidize the Macintosh. Sculley said that he ultimately opposed the idea, feeling that there was no "merit" in lowering the cost of the computer.
    Jobs hired Sculley from beverage company Pepsi in 1983, however the two clashed over management styles and conflicting visions for the future of Apple. After his departure from Apple, Sculley went on to remain involved with a number of companies, including his role as a founding investor in Metro PCS. The former CEO also stated last March that Apple was experiencing a temporary lull in innovation, and that an iWatch smart watch from the company would be a key product going forward.

    Article Link: Former Apple CEO John Sculley: Forcing Steve Jobs Out Was a 'Mistake'
  2. macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2013
  3. macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2012
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2012
    Actually it was for the best. Jobs' experience at NeXT and Pixar were essential and without that Apple would not be where it is today. Obviously this is by accident and certainly no design of Sculley.


    No, he has confessed several times in the past. It's how he gets his name out there these days.
  5. macrumors 68000


    May 20, 2011
    Wales, UK
  6. Kilamite, Apr 18, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014

    macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2007
    But then we wouldn't have had NeXT and Mac OS X.

    Things might've been different for the better had Jobs not been ousted, but things still turned out pretty well.
  7. macrumors regular

    May 31, 2011
    I disagree, I think it gave him the chance to nurture himself.

    Its like Dragon Ball Z when Gohan left home to train with Piccolo for the battle against the saiyans.

    EDIT: Plus they never would have found Johny Ives if they thought Steve was a keeper. No Johny no Apple imo
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 16, 2012
    Cupertino, CA
    Being fired from Apple was one of the best things that could have happened to him. Forcing Scott Forstall out was a mistake.
  9. macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2009
    It seems like it may have been a mistake due to the rushed bug filled ios7 but if he was going to cause other execs to leave then maybe it wasn't a mistake. I want forstall to do something great on his own and show that he has great ideas independent of apple.
  10. macrumors 68020

    Nov 10, 2007
    Wow, that was fast. From Scully in 1983 to iOS7 sucks in 2 easy steps. Great job, guys. :roll eyes:

    Back on topic, I think that Scully is once again showing why hiring him was a mistake. He doesn't see the obvious fact that SJ leaving Apple and experiencing NeXT was ultimately the savior of Apple.
  11. macrumors 65816


    Jul 12, 2011
    UCD, Ireland
  12. macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2006
    Sculley has established a dubious place in corporate history. Pre-Apple he was famous for his brilliance at Pepsi. Post-Apple, he'll always been known as the idiot who fired Steve Jobs.
  13. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    Yeah you'd think it would be more of a 12-step program:D. The guy sometimes fishes for attention.
  14. macrumors member


    Nov 22, 2013
    Addison, TX
    Will this guy EVER shut up? And when will Apple blogs stop paying attention to him? This is almost as bad as how Steve Wozniak keeps popping up and saying dumb things.
  15. ugp
    macrumors 65816


    Jan 7, 2008
    Inverness, Florida
    Things turned out great regardless. If Steve wasn't forced out we might not have the advancements we have to today. Things might have went in a different direction. Everything happens for a reason. I am sure Steve would say he doesn't regret anything. Still sad to know Steve is not with us anymore.
  16. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    Forestall probably was manageable when Steve was around but uncontrollable afterwards. It probably came down to Ive vs Forstall. Whoever left would have had a noticeable impact and people who preferred that person would be complaining.
  17. macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2012
    That is true, he launched a smartphone in india and just attach steve name. It will become news...
  18. macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2014
    The above quote is good.
    Firing Jobs never should have been allowed. Is sculley living in India, I hope they kick him out of the country.
  19. macrumors 68040

    May 29, 2003
    I have to agree here. The web was literally conceived on Next hardware and Pixar changed an entire industry. People seem to downplay Steve's involve leant in these companies but they both made significant marks on the world at large. Further they helped mold Steve into a person that could take charge at Apple when it only had a couple of months to go before bankruptcy. Apple was in tough shape when Steve returned, causing him to cut things with a broad axe. It saved the company even if it did piss a few people off.
    Well I'm not sure about that, getting his name out there. There seems to be a cult of investigators/authors/whatever that have an un satisfied need to research every bit of Apple history asking the same damn questions over and over again. I'm not sure Sculley needs to even get his name out there anymore. Honestly all this grave digging (gold digging) has become a bit unseemly and a bit offensive. The past is the past there isn't much value in raking over the coals to many times, eventually they get spread out so thin that no heat of value comes from them.


    Even Steve himself has said as much. Frankly Steve changed two great industries in ways that will shape them for decades to come. Further if it wasn't for a few Next computers placed at CERN the Internet might never have evolved the way it did.

    I'm not sure about your belief at everything has a reason. Rather I see infinite paths humanity can follow, those paths are taken often by chance. The idea that there is a reason for everything would imply that we have no self determination which I find to be highly objectionable.
  20. macrumors member


    Jan 21, 2009
    In other news, the captain of the Titanic now admits that hitting the iceberg was a 'mistake'.
  21. macrumors 68030

    Sep 20, 2006
    Aussie living in Canada
    I'm not so sure it was. Apple needed to hit rock bottom so Steve could change it all, and it helped him go on his own journey.
  22. Robert.Walter, Apr 18, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014

    macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2012
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2012
    Contrary to perception, Apple did not hit an iceberg under Sculley. Sales and profits increased ten fold, and Apple continued to innovate, such as releasing the first PowerBooks. Apple retained great talent throughout the dark years which is how Jobs was able to turn Apple around so fast. Sculley left well before Apple hit bottom under Spindler and Amelio. In short, while Apple wasn't the powerhouse they've been in the 21st century, things were generally pretty good under Sculley.

    The downside of that time period is that Appe lost a platform war to Microsoft. That probably would have happened anyways. The only way to avoid that would have been to go the licensing route a lot sooner which would have eventually led to Apple getting pushed out of the hardware market by clones and prevented Apple from making their greatest creations of this century which rely heavily on Apple's hardware expertise.

    Long story short, Sculley was no Steve Jobs but he sure as hell wasn't the captain of the titanic either.
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2012
    This doofus reminds me of Robert McNamara.

    McNamara left what he was suited for (bean counting) for something he wasn't suited for defense secy, bombs, body bags and politics.

    Scully, like McNamara got what he wanted, Jobs out and control of Apple; McN got a vastly expanded killing machine in SE Asia.

    Years later, when history proved both their strategic goals to have been vastly mistaken, and their leadership to have been poor, both attempted to atone for their sins via the media.

    At least McN had the balls to cry about his failures, but Scully blames the board.

    I'm not saying forcing Steve out was same as torching villagers or deploying Agent Orange on your own troops, as the latter is orders of magnitude worse than the former. Rather I'm saying that both these gents lacked the foresight to understand their actions and developed this slowly and years later.

    Sculley is not yet to the cry on TV point. For him, he will have to realize that his lust for control robbed us of a portion of 10 years of Steve's creativity by disengaging him from his vehicle that brought him there.

    As for Sculley's other post-Apple accomplishments? Meh! He jumped on various bandwagons after the visionaries started them rolling.

    Now what does he do? He uses his celebrity as the CEO who chucked Steve plus a mea culpa (but bl-aimed at the board) to promote someone else's products.

    Only way I'd ever be interested to hear from him again would be if he wrote an honest account of his days at apple that shines light on how he failed as a leader (and a litmus test for failure: if he tries to sell Newton as ground breaking proto iPad.)
  25. macrumors regular


    Feb 23, 2014
    United States

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