John Sculley is the infamous Apple CEO who pushed out Steve Jobs from the company back in 1985. Sculley was Apple’s CEO from 1983 to 1993, and was brought from Pepsi to Apple by Jobs himself, with his famous “Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?” pitch.
In an interview with Times of India, Sculley admits that forcing Jobs out of Apple was a mistake. From the report:
“I think, in hindsight, for the founder to leave was a mistake and I was a part of that. But, Steve in 1985 was not the same as the Steve in 1997. By the time he came back, he was a much more matured and experienced executive, while back in the eighties, he was still a young learning executive.”
“I think there could have been a way, in hindsight, where Steve and I did not need to have a confrontation, and we could have worked it out. And, perhaps the board could have played a bigger role in that. But you can’t change history.”
After leaving Apple in 1985, Jobs founded NeXT Inc., a company that made computer workstations for higher education and business markets. Jobs was brought back to Apple in 1997 through Apple’s $429 million purchase of NeXT. Apart from getting Jobs, Apple also got NeXT’s technology that formed a base for Mac OS X, and later iOS as well.
Sculley recently launched Obi, a company that will make low-cost smartphones in the range of $80 to $130 for the growing Indian phone market.