Larry Ellison Made Steve Jobs Fall Out Of His Seat Laughing When He Told Him This Story

gil amelio steve jobs

Photo: AP

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple it was being run by a man named Gil Amelio.Jobs didn’t think much of Amelio. In fact, he though he was a “bozo.”

When an Apple board member asked Jobs what he thought of Amelio, Jobs said, “This guy is the worst CEO I’ve ever seen, I think if you needed a licence to be a CEO he wouldn’t get one.”

Why was Jobs so negative on Amelio?

Well, he was running Apple into the ground, and he was sort of clueless. And nothing illustrates his cluelessness better than this passage  — which might be our favourite — from Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs book:

That spring Larry Ellison saw Amelio at a party and introduced him to the technology journalist Gina Smith, who asked how Apple was doing. “You know, Gina, Apple is like a ship,” Amelio answered. “That ship is loaded with treasure, but there’s a hole in the ship. And my job is to get everyone to row in the same direction.” Smith looked perplexed and asked, “Yeah, but what about the hole?” From then on Ellison and Jobs joked about the parable of the ship. “When Larry relayed this story to me, we were in this sushi place, and I literally fell off my chair laughing,” Jobs recalled. “He was just such a buffoon, and he took himself so seriously. He insisted that everyone call him Dr. Amelio. That’s always a warning sign.”

A few months later Amelio was ousted from Apple, and Jobs took over.

Don’t Miss: The Best Quotes From The Steve Jobs Book

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at