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 little more than a decade 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.
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.”
July 8, 1997: Steve Jobs begins his path to becoming chief executive officer of Apple, after former CEO Gil Amelio departs the company following a massive quarterly loss. Also leaving Apple is Ellen Hancock, executive vice president of technology.
July 6, 1997: Following a massive quarterly loss for Apple, board member Edgar S. Woolard Jr. calls CEO Gil Amelio and informs him that he needs to step down. “You’ve done a lot to help the company, but the sales haven’t rebounded,” Woolard says.
Steve Jobs, who recently returned to the company he co-founded, denies being responsible for Amelio’s ouster. However, the move results in Jobs becoming Apple CEO for the first time. Now it’s time for a real turnaround!
May 23, 1985: Bitter about being ousted from his position running the Macintosh division, Steve Jobs attempts to stage a coup to seize control of Apple from CEO John Sculley.
The 30-year-old Apple co-founder plans to overthrow Sculley while the CEO is away on a business trip in China. Unfortunately for Jobs, he makes a critical mistake when he tries to recruit the support of Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée, who informs Sculley of the plot.
It’s the beginning of the end for Jobs’ first tenure at Apple.
May 17, 1983: John Sculley takes the helm as Apple’s third president and CEO. The former Pepsi-Cola boss is short on tech experience but long on marketing, which will become increasingly important as the personal computer revolution ramps up.
Steve Jobs personally lured Sculley to Apple using one of the most famous lines in the history of business. “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water,” Jobs asked Sculley, “or do you want a chance to change the world?”
April 19, 1994: The executive in charge of Apple’s revolutionary new product line, the Newton MessagePad, parts ways with the company.
“We can’t say whether he fell or was pushed,” says an Apple spokesman. Reports suggest that the departing Gaston Bastiaens, general manager of Apple’s personal interactive electronics division, is leaving due to his failure to make the Newton a financial success.
April 12, 1976: Apple’s third co-founder, a former Atari colleague of Steve Wozniak’s named Ron Wayne, cashes in his Apple shares for just $800.
Wayne, who owns a 10% stake in the company, throws in the towel after worrying that he doesn’t have the time or energy to properly invest in Apple. He later receives an extra $1,500 check to seal the deal. When he cashes it, he loses out on an investment that could have been worth billions.
“I was 40 and these kids were in their 20s,” Wayne told Cult of Mac decades later, referring to Wozniak and Steve Jobs. “They were whirlwinds — it was like having a tiger by the tail. If I had stayed with Apple I probably would have wound up the richest man in the cemetery.”
April 8, 1983: John Sculley, former president of PepsiCo, takes charge as Apple’s third CEO.
Despite a total lack of experience selling tech products, Sculley is lured to Apple by Steve Jobs himself. The Apple co-founder famously pitched the Pepsi exec with the line, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”
March 4, 2014: Peter Oppenheimer, the Apple chief financial officer who presided over a decade of skyrocketing growth, steps down from the company.
After becoming Apple CFO in 2004, Oppenheimer saw the company’s valuation soar from $8.8 billion to $471 billion. Luca Maestri, current Apple senior vice president and chief financial officer, replaced Oppenheimer in this crucial position.