Steve Jobs would be the only other such CEO who himself is the face and posterboy of his company (the other would be Bill Gates). His name is synonymous with Apple, the brand which makes some of the best gadgets on our Earth. No one would ever think about Apple without knowing or thinking about him. But his illustrious journey has sadly come to an end owing to the long-drawn illness which forced him to step down as the CEO. But he still remains with Apple as the Chairman of the board.
His relation with Apple dates back to 1976 when he co-founded the company along with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. He introduced the first Macintosh to the world in 1984. It was a huge success. However towards the end of 1984, a industry-wide sales slump led to significant layoffs in the company. Steve was sacked as the head of Macintosh division.
After the incident he founded the NeXT Computer, which produced a technologically advanced workstation. Though rejected by the masses as cost-prohibitive, it garnered a strong following among those who could afford it. Its technical strengths were the object oriented software development system, Mach kernel and built-in Ethernet port. He also popularised the term “interpersonal computing” with the NeXTMail which could send/receive graphics and audio through mail which was not available at the time. Even then the limited sales forced the company to be turned into a software-only development which released NeXTSTEP.
In the meantime he bought the Graphics Group of Lucasfilms which was later named as Pixar Studios. The company produced several blockbuster hits like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, WALL-E and many more which won the Academy Awards for the best Animated Feature.
In 1996, Apple decided to buy NeXT Computer for $429 million. This move brought him back to Apple. The then CEO Gil Amelio was ousted and Steve Jobs was formally named the interim Chief Executive in 1997. Eventually NeXTSTEP was incorporated as Mac OS X. The company returned to profitability with the well-designed iMacs and a strong brand image. In 2000 he dropped the “interim” and became the permanent CEO of Apple. Later he introduced the iPod, iPhone and iPad to the world which are widely popular among the consumers and have set a niche in the markets.
Other than being the CEO of Apple, he is widely acclaimed for his charismatic image which has fueled the magnificent sales of iProducts. His keynote speeches are popular among his fans which is due to the “reality distortion field” created by him during the speeches.
As Tim Cook takes over as the CEO of Apple with Steve Jobs as the Chairman, there would not be drastic changes anytime soon but the company would not be the same without him. Tim Cook has served as the acting CEO for sometime when Steve had to take leave “to concentrate on his health”. But now he has to fill in the shoes of the man who has built the company almost single-handed.