Photo: via Forbes
Larry Ellison wanted to buy Apple in 1995 so his good friend Steve Jobs could return to power, and both of them could make a tidy profit.But, Jobs rejected the idea saying, “I’m not a hostile takeover kind of a guy.” He wanted to be asked back into the fold at Apple, writes Walter Isaacson in Steve Jobs.
Jobs would be invited back to the company a year later when Apple CEO Gil Amelio began talking about buying Jobs’ failing computer company NeXT.
When the deal was taking shape Jobs told Ellison, “You know, Larry, I think I’ve found a way for me to get back into Apple and get control of it without you having to buy it.”
Ellison was happy for his friend, but pointed out that something was missing. He said to Jobs, “If we don’t buy the company, then how can we make money?”
At this point Jobs got real close to Ellison and said, “Larry, this is why it’s really important that I’m your friend. You don’t need any more money.”
Ellison agreed with that general sentiment, but thought it was stupid that some “fund manager at Fidelity” would make more money on Apple’s success than he or Jobs.
Jobs responded by saying, “I think if I went back to Apple and didn’t own any of Apple, and you didn’t own any of Apple, I’d have the moral high ground.”
Ellison’s response: “Steve, that’s really expensive real estate, this moral high ground.”