updated 06:44 am EDT, Tue September 10, 2013
John Sculley blames the Apple board for firing Steve Jobs
John Sculley has given his most detailed account of what led to his falling out with the late Steve Jobs, and Jobs' subsequent ouster at Apple, reports Forbes. As he has in the past, Sculley, 74, expressed regret over the way Jobs was treated, but felt that he wasn't solely to blame for the incident. Instead, Sculley argues that it was the board holds the most responsibility for firing Jobs from his own company. Sculley's latest remarks followed his disappointment with the Ashton Kutcher 'Jobs' biopic.
According to Sculley, no one has ever really asked the question as to how the two, once very close friends, become completely at odds and had their relationship irrevocably damaged. "I really blame the board," said Sculley. "And I really believe there could have been a solution to keep me and Steve working together, because we were really good friends up until that point," he added. Sculley and Jobs had disagreed over Jobs' plan to try turn around the fortunes of the second-gen Macintosh dubbed the Macintosh Office.
Sculley recalls that the Macintosh Office had been criticized as nothing more than an expensive 'toy.' Jobs came to Sculley and said, "I want to drop the price of the Macintosh and I want to move the advertising from the Apple II over to the Mac." Sculley says that he told Jobs that this wouldn't make a difference to its sales and that it could put the company into a position where it could lose money. Sculley told Jobs that he would take the matter to the board, but Jobs didn't believe that he would do it.
The outcome, as captured in the Walter Isaacson biography, is that Jobs and Sculley both pitched their ideas to the board separately. Mike Markkula ultimately sided with Sculley's position. As Sculley says, "Seven or eight days later [Markkula] came back to the board and said, 'I agree with John, I don't agree with Steve.'" Jobs was then dumped as the head of the Mac division and was eventually pushed out of the company he co-founded as he continued to rock the boat.
"I feel most badly, though, [because] after 10 years, I was at the company, I wanted to go back to New York where I was from. Why I didn't go to Steve Jobs and say, 'Steve, let's figure out how you can come back and lead your company.' I didn't do that, it was a terrible mistake on my part. I can't figure out why I didn't have the wisdom to do that. But I didn't. And as life has it, shortly after that, I was fired."