By BETH PISKORA
Steve Jobs is a lousy manager.
That's what Gil Amelio, the recently-ousted CEO of Apple
Computer, said in a recent radio interview about the company's
charismatic founder who is now effectively running the company in
his capacity as director-adviser.
"You'll never be as good of an operating manager as I am," Amelio
said he told Jobs. "You can't run a corporation...by just being cool."
Jobs, who earned his cool rating by dating folk singer Joan Baez and
traveling to India in search of enlightenment like his heroes The
Beatles, has said he doesn't want the still-vacant CEO job.
However, Jobs is said to have masterminded the ouster of Amelio
and has taken on much of the day-to-day responsibility of running
On the record, Jobs has never had anything but kind words for
Amelio, even crediting the former CEO with improving Apple's
financial position during his 17-month tenure in the top job. But
analysts say Jobs was not happy with Amelio's style, and was
clearly plotting a palace coup since returning as a consultant at the
end of 1996 to the company he founded in his garage two decades
In the two-hour-long radio interview, Amelio made it clear that Jobs
should stay away from the CEO job. Apple needs a cheerleader like
Jobs, he said, but also needs a sound manager like, well, Amelio.
He hinted that Apple may have a hard time attracting strong
management talent as long as Jobs continues to hold sway over the
board. It is an allegation that many Apple watchers endorse.
The Economist characterized Jobs as "a mixture of brilliance and
determination, plus a dark side of scorn, arrogance and temper." A
writer for the weekly business magazine asked whether anyone
would be attracted to the job while Jobs continues to be so actively
When asked who he thought would be the best candidate for his old
job, Amelio mentioned Intuit chief executive and new Apple board
member Bill Campbell, who has reportedly said he doesn't want the
Amelio defended his decisions while running the company, saying
that he was able to bring Apple "back on its feet again" by getting it
more cash, cleaning up product quality, and by shaking up an
entrenched employee culture that was bad at competition.
Amelio said he disagreed with Apple's decision to abandon its
Macintosh cloning strategy and alienate Motorola, which decided this
week to stop making Mac clones. "I think the relationship with
Motorola goes back 20 years, and it is absolutely essential to keep
that on track," Amelio said. When asked if Apple had made a
strategic mistake, he replied: "On the surface of it, it certainly doesn't
look like it's going in the right direction."
The outgoing chief executive made his candid comments on Tom
King's CompuTalk call-in radio show.
With CNET's NEWS.COM
Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner.
-Toa Te Ching