Months Before He Died, Steve Jobs Believed He Would Live For Years As Apple’s Former CEO

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When, in the summer of 2011, Apple CEO Steve Jobs told COO Tim Cook that he wanted Cook to become CEO, both men still believed Jobs was getting better, and that he would live for a long time as Apple’s former CEO.

In an interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek editor Josh Tyrangiel, Cook says “the conversation occurred at a period of time when I felt Steve was getting better, and I think he felt this way as well.”

That’s news.

Previously, the common assumption about the change at the top of Apple was that Jobs only stepped down from the CEO role in August 2011 because he believed he was going to die soon.

Jobs did, in fact, die soon after: on October 5, 2011.

But Cook says the two of them actually planned for “a long, long period where he [was] the chairman and I [would be] CEO.”

Cook even says that Jobs told him: “I hope you listen to my input if I want to input on something.”

It’s well-known by now that Jobs told Cook: “I never want you to ask what I would have done. Just do what’s right.”

But until now, we never knew that Jobs meant “don’t ask me, what i would have done” – because Jobs believed he would still be around.

Two reactions. 

  • How sad.
  • How strange to think that Jobs, even if he were still living, would not be running Apple right now.