by Thomas Wailgum

This Date in IT History

May 01, 20042 mins

Jobs Loses Job

May 31, 1985

After launching an unsuccessful coup to take back the reigns of the company he cofounded, Steve Jobs is summarily stripped of his duties at Apple by CEO John Sculley. It was Sculley who, ironically, Jobs had lured away from PepsiCo with that now famous question, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” According to The Apple Museum, just days before, with Sculley away at a meeting in China, Jobs plotted his move to oust Sculley. Alas, a worm inside Apple leaked Jobs’s plan to Sculley, who had just enough time to ask other top execs if they wanted Jobs or him. They took Sculley, and Jobs, who retained the chairman title, was merely a paper tiger. With no worlds left to change at Apple, he eventually left Apple in September.

The apple, however, would not fall too far from the tree as Jobs returned in a smaller capacity in early 1997?Apple would buy his NeXT Computer company?and was grandiosely named iCEO (for interim) later that year. During his absence, he had also become CEO of Pixar, cultivating the little-known animation studio into a movie moneymaker. Finally, in January 2000, Jobs was formally reunited with his former CEO title.