Apple's future rests on co-founder
Steve Jobs to spearhead former company
December 21, 1996
Web posted at: 10:30 a.m. EST
SAN JOSE, California (CNN) -- Steve Jobs, the computer whiz
kid who co-founded Apple with a friend in his garage more
than 20 years ago, has returned to jump-start the struggling
company a decade after his bitter ouster.
Apple Computer Inc. announced late Friday it would acquire
Jobs' NeXT Software Inc. for $400 million, ending a day
filled with speculation about the possible merger.
At an evening news conference, CEO Gilbert Amelio said Jobs
was the perfect choice to revitalize Apple and launch it into
"I can say with great excitement that I really look forward
to the kind of contributions he can make to our company,"
Amelio said. "He is not just a visionary by reputation. He's
a visionary in fact."
As an upstart 21-year-old, Jobs created Apple in 1976 with
Steve Wozniak and spearheaded the personal computer
revolution with the creation of the Macintosh.
But in 1985, he was forced out after a power struggle with
then-CEO John Scully. Jobs had hired Scully, a former Pepsico
Inc. executive, to organize the growing company in 1983.
Wozniak also left in 1985.
Jobs then formed NeXT Software Inc., a high-end business
software company known for its "object orientation" --
technology that helps developers write new software quickly
and simply -- and its advanced Internet software.
Jobs, 41, welcomed the merger on Friday. (231K/19 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
"This just looked like a much better place for us to be with
our technology," said Jobs, who will report directly to
Amelio. "I'm just very excited about this."
Information defining Jobs' official title with Apple was
unavailable. The Los Angeles Times, citing unidentified sources,
had said he would be a part-time consultant and "technology guru."
'Next generation of technology'
Amelio called the merger a "friendly" acquisition that would
propel Apple well into the 21st century. Specifically, he
outlined several points where Apple stands to gain:
- Strengthen's Apple's Internet capabilities
- Boosts Apple's competitiveness by embracing outside
technology and cross-platform industry standards.
- Jump-starts Apple's software business
- Moves Apple back toward being a cutting-edge company
"We can truly create that next generation of technology that
will lead the industry and continue to help the industry go
forward," Amelio said.
The announcement came after weeks of speculation about
Apple's plans for updating Macintosh's software, widely
considered one of the most critical decisions in the
company's history. A news leak on Friday also had fueled talk
of Jobs' return.
Apple hopes that with a more advanced operating system the
aging Macintosh will become a significant player in the
personal computer industry. In recent years, the Mac has lost
significant market share to Microsoft's Windows operating
Industry insiders applauded Apple's bold move. "It's sweet
irony and justice for Jobs," Tim Bajarin, president of
Creative Strategies Research International Inc., said in
Saturday's San Francisco Chronicle.
"When he left Apple, he felt he would create the next great
Mac at NeXT," he said. "Now, in the 20th anniversary of (Apple), he's helping create the next generation of Mac
machines. This has got more drama and history than anything
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