Today in Apple history: John Sculley bids Apple a $10 million farewell

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Former Apple CEO John Sculley talks at Web Summit 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.
After Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, John Sculley is Apple's most memorable CEO.
Photo: Web Summit/Flickr CC

October 15: Today in Apple history: CEO John Sculley forced out of Apple October 15, 1993: John Sculley, the CEO responsible for forcing Steve Jobs out of Apple, is forced to leave the company himself.

Following a terrible quarter, in which the company posted a 97% drop in earnings, Sculley steps down as Apple chairman. He takes $1 million in severance pay, a one-year consulting fee of $750,000, a commitment from Apple to buy his $4 million mansion and $2 million Lear jet, and $2.4 million in stock options. Total take: around $10 million.

Today in Apple history: Tim Cook becomes Apple’s chief operating officer

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Cook
Tim Cook was on his way to the top spot at Apple.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

October 14: Today in Apple history October 14, 2005: Tim Cook takes the reins as Apple’s chief operating officer, continuing an upward climb through the company’s ranks that will make him CEO less than six years later.

“Tim and I have worked together for over seven years now, and I am looking forward to working even more closely with him to help Apple reach some exciting goals during the coming years,” Steve Jobs says in a statement.

Let’s close the doors on the Church of Steve Jobs

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Let’s close the doors on the Church of Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs was brilliant but let’s stop making him the patron saint of computing.
Photo: Cult of Mac/acaben/Flickr CC

While Steve Jobs died 10 years ago today, he lives on as a way to criticize Apple’s current management.

In some people’s misguided memories, Jobs did no wrong. Ever. And members of this reality-challenged group — let’s call it the Church of Steve Jobs — frequently post comments on social media like, “Apple would be so much better if Steve Jobs were still in charge.”

But in reality, Jobs made plenty of mistakes. Here are some of his worst foul-ups.

Today in Apple history: CEO Michael Spindler denies Apple is a ‘lame duck’

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Apple CEO Michael Spindler headed the company during trying times in the 1990s.
Apple faced big challenges during the Michael Spindler era.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

October 3: Today in Apple history: CEO Michael Spindler denies Apple is a 'lame-duck company' October 3, 1994: Apple CEO Michael Spindler reassures the world that Apple “is not a lame-duck company.”

Why would anyone suspect that it is? The answer lies in Apple’s collapsing Mac sales, massive layoffs and a $188 million quarterly loss. At 15 months into his stint as CEO, Spindler wants to reassure everyone that the worst is over.

Sadly, things will decline further before they start to turn around.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs leaves and rejoins Apple

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Steve Jobs before and after, with maybe a little judgement about water sales.
Two significant days in Jobs' career took place on this day.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

September 16: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs leaves and rejoins Apple September 16, 1985 and 1997: Twice on this day, Steve Jobs makes significant moves with regard to his career at Apple. In 1985, he quits the company he co-founded. Then, a decade and a half later, he officially rejoins Apple as its new interim CEO.

In terms of the emotions associated with those historic occasions, it’s hard to think of two more polarizing days in Jobs’ life.

Top Apple car exec hits off-ramp, heads for Detroit instead

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That's the signpost up ahead - your next stop, the Apple Car. The Apple Car is way down the highway. But Apple has the pedal to the metal.
The man reportedly running Apple car development has taken an exit.
Photo illustration: Cult of Mac/Wikipedia CC

Development of an Apple car just hit another speed bump. Doug Field, who’d reportedly been managing the project, just left to join the Ford Motor Company.

This is surely a blow to Apple’s secretive automotive efforts. And the company was already multiple years away from having anything to put in a showroom, according to the latest leaks.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO

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Why Salesforce chief gave up AppStore.com for Apple
Steve Jobs' health wouldn't allow him to continue as CEO.
Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

August 24: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO August 24, 2011: With his health worsening, a cancer-stricken Steve Jobs steps down from his role leading Apple. Tim Cook assumes the role of Apple’s seventh CEO.

“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know,” Jobs writes in his retirement letter to the Apple board. “Unfortunately that day has come.”

Tim Cook netted a cool $265 million from Apple in 2020

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Tim Cook earnings apple
Tim Cook is in 8th place on Bloomberg‘s list of highest paid CEOs and executives.
Illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook is one of the best paid U.S. executives according to a new report. He pulled in a whopping $265 million in 2020 from his salary, bonus, and stock awards.

But that’s chump change compared to what Elon Musk made.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs begins his path back to the top

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Steve_Jobs_2007
This marked the start of Apple's turnaround.
Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

July 8: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs begins his journey to Apple CEO July 8, 1997: Steve Jobs begins his path to becoming chief executive officer of Apple, after former CEO Gil Amelio departs the company on the back of a massive quarterly loss. Also leaving Apple is Ellen Hancock, executive vice president of technology.

To run Apple’s day-to-day operations, CFO Fred Anderson takes over until a new CEO can be found. Jobs, meanwhile, moves from strategic adviser to take “a more expanded role with Apple’s board and executive management team.” The turnaround has started!

Does being gay make Tim Cook a better CEO?

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Apple CEO Tim Cook calls being gay
Tim Cook calls being gay "God's greatest gift."
Photo: thierry ehrmann/Flickr CC

Since he came out as gay eight years ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook has led the company through the most successful period in its history. Cook once said he wanted to prove you can “be gay and still go on and do some big jobs in life.” He’s certainly done that.

But maybe there’s more to this story than overcoming prejudice. In 2018, Cook told CNN that being gay is “God’s greatest gift to me.” Far from a disadvantage, could being gay actually be an instrumental part of his success?

As a gay man myself, Cook has always been an inspiration for me. So to celebrate Pride Month, here’s why I think being gay made him a better CEO.