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Former Apple CEO John Sculley calls Jobs 'greatest CEO ever'

updated 11:15 am EDT, Thu October 6, 2011

Steve Wolfram, UK Prime Minister add comment

One-time Apple CEO John Sculley is praising the company's most famous chief, Steve Jobs, in the aftermath of the latter's death. "His legacy is far more than being the greatest CEO ever," Sculley comments. "A world leader is dead, but the lessons his leadership taught us live on." He adds that Jobs was a "brilliant genius who transformed technology into magic," and that a part of the Apple co-founder "still lives within all of us through his beautifully designed products and his no-compromises media experiences."

Sculley's comments may have a tinge of controversy, as while Jobs initially lured him away from Pepsi for his marketing skills, Sculley would ultimately become involved in pushing Jobs himself out of the company. Sculley has since acknowledged that his tenure as Apple CEO was a "big mistake," in large part because he didn't understand much about computers. Jobs' ideas continued to be used even after his departure. "All the design ideas were clearly Steve's. The one who should really be given credit for all that stuff while I was there is really Steve," Sculley remarked in a recent interview.

More eulogies for Jobs are continuing to emerge from influential people, among them being UK Prime Minister David Cameron. "Steve Jobs transformed the way we work and play; a creative genius who will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his family," a post on Twitter reads.

Stephen Wolfram is the founder Wolfram Research, which developed a version of Mathematica that ran on computers developed by NeXT, a Jobs start-up. Wolfram's Alpha technology is integrated into the Siri voice assistant on the iPhone 4S. "It's hard to remember tonight all the ways Steve Jobs has supported and encouraged us over the years," he writes in a blog. "Big things and small things. Looking at my archive I realize I'd forgotten just how many detailed problems he jumped in to solve. From the glitches in versions of NextStep, to the personal phone call not long ago to assure us that if we ported Mathematica and CDF to iOS they wouldn't be banned."

Jobs is even said to have persuaded Wolfram to use the "Mathematica" name, choosing it over titles like PolyMath or Omega. "Steve thought those were lousy names...One day he said to me: 'You should call it Mathematica.'" Although Wolfram had already previously rejected that name, Jobs explained that his theory for names involved starting from a generic term and then romanticizing it, a favorite third-party example being the Sony Trinitron.

Lastly, Atari founder and former Jobs employer Nolan Bushnell briefly states that "The world has lost a genius who has forever changed the way we live, work, and play."

by MacNN Staff



  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Consider the source

    This is the first and only thing I've seen which makes me wonder if Steve Jobs may have actually been overrated. Sculley was and is such a lousy excuse for a CEO that his judgement on this issue is probably wrong. In fact, I think his judgement is probably off on just about everything; if he told me the sky was blue, I'd go look out a window to check before I believed him.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not just a great CEO

    how many CEOs have their name on over 300 patents? He was much more than just a CEO. He was a modern Leonardo da Vinci.

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