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 date, Steve Jobs makes significant moves with regard to his career at Apple. In 1985, he quits the company he co-founded. Then, more than two decades 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.

The man who brought CEO John Sculley to Apple dies aged 87

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john-sculley
Bringing John Sculley (pictured) to Apple was a career highlight.
Photo: Web Summit/Flickr CC

You probably don’t know the name Gerry Roche, but he was heavily involved in one of the most significant events in Apple history.

Roche, who died over the weekend at the age of 87, was the executive recruiter who brought John Sculley from PepsiCo to Apple in the early 1980s. Sculley wound up overseeing a massive boom in Apple’s business, the launch of the Macintosh, and — perhaps most memorably — the departure of Steve Jobs.

Today in Apple history: Tide turns against Apple in war with Microsoft

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Mac vs. PC
A judge's decision proves very damaging to Apple.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

August 14: Today in Apple history: Tide turns against Apple in war with Microsoft August 14, 1991: As Apple and Microsoft head to court to battle each other, the tide begins to turn against Apple and its claims that Windows unlawfully copies the look and feel of Mac OS.

The case concerns whether key elements of Apple’s operating system are original enough for copyright protection. The decision turns out to be a major blow against Apple — and the start of Cupertino’s 1990s decline.

Today in Apple history: Newton MessagePad inspires mobile revolution

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The Newton MessagePad looks gigantic next to an iPhone.
The Newton MessagePad looks gigantic next to an iPhone.
Photo: Blake Patterson/Wikipedia CC

August 2: Today in Apple history: Newton MessagePad launch inspires mobile revolution August 2, 1993: Apple debuts the MessagePad, the first product in its Newton line of handheld personal digital assistants.

The most unfairly maligned product in Apple history, the Newton is a revolutionary device. It predates Apple’s push toward app-based mobile devices 14 years later. Often dismissed as a failure, the Newton ranks near the top of the list of Apple’s most influential creations.

Today in Apple history: Windows scores big victory over Mac

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Windows used a number of elements of the Mac UI
Windows used a number of elements of the Mac UI.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

July 25: Today in Apple history: Windows scores big victory over Mac when judge throws out Apple's copyright infringement claims July 25, 1989: Apple suffers a major setback in its copyright-infringement lawsuit against Microsoft for allegedly stealing the Mac’s “look and feel” to create Windows.

Apple sued Microsoft on 189 counts of copyright infringement relating to Windows 2.0.3. The judge overseeing the case throws out 179 of them. This paves the way for Microsoft’s dominance over Apple in the coming decade.

Today in Apple history: Apple’s eWorld online service goes live

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Enter Apple eWorld. Short of a Nirvana MIDI file playing in the background, you can't get more 1990s than this!
It doesn't get more 1990s than this!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

June 20: Today in Apple historyJune 20, 1994: Apple launches eWorld, a subscription service for Mac owners that’s designed to compete with America Online and other nascent online properties.

Part messaging service and part news aggregator, eWorld is supposed to push Apple into competition with the likes of AOL, Delphi, CompuServe and Prodigy. Unfortunately, Apple’s online service is doomed from the start.

Today in Apple history: John Sculley steps down as Apple CEO

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Former Apple CEO John Sculley talks at Web Summit 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.
John Sculley ran Apple for a decade.
Photo: Web Summit/Flickr CC

June 18 Today in Apple historyJune 18, 1993: John Sculley steps down as CEO after a 10-year run at Apple.

Sculley is asked to leave by the Apple board after AAPL shares collapse from a high of $4.33 in 1992 to $0.73 the following year. He hands over the CEO role to Michael Spindler, before briefly taking the role of Apple chairman, prior to departing altogether.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs says Apple is being run by ‘caretakers’

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1984
Steve Jobs thought ditching ad agency Chiat/Day proved that Apple had lost its creative mojo.
Photo: Apple and Chiat/Day

May 27: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs says Apple is being run by caretakers May 27, 1986: An exiled Steve Jobs takes a shot at Apple after the company ditches Chiat/Day, the ad agency that created the iconic “1984” Macintosh ad.

In a full-page ad published in The Wall Street Journal, Jobs says the move to competing ad agency BBDO shows that “caretakers” rather than “builders” now run Apple. From his perspective, it confirms that Apple has lost its revolutionary spirit.

Today in Apple history: Apple becomes world’s most valuable tech company

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money
It was a big day for Apple!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac/401Calculator

May 26: Today in Apple history: Apple worth more than Microsoft for first time May 26, 2010: In a massive milestone, Apple passes Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable technology company.

The changing of the guard proves particularly amazing given that, just 15 years earlier, Apple looked close to dead, while Microsoft dominated the tech world thanks to Windows.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs attempts a boardroom coup

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Jobs
Sadly for Steve, things didn't work in his favor.
Photo: Esther Dyson/Flickr CC

May 23: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs attempts a boardroom coup 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.