In an interview with CNBC in October 1997, Apple CEO Steve Jobs talked about returning to the company he founded after being ousted.
“I very much want to see Apple get turned around. And I think it’s going to. So I don’t know how much more committed I could be,” Jobs said.
After founding Apple with Steve Wozniak in 1976, Steve Jobs was forced out of the company in September 1985. He went on to found another computer company, NeXT, which Apple acquired in February 1997, bringing Jobs back as interim chief before he took on the role permanently.
With Jobs’ return to Apple, the company became profitable again and sparked a new era in personal computing and devices. In this CNBC interview, Jobs spoke about how he planned to return the company to growth by paring back the scope of its products.
“The resources we’re investing are equal or greater than we have been, but it’s on fewer things,” he said. “So we’re going to do a better job at them.”
Within the next decade, under his leadership, Apple released the iconic iMac, iPod and iPhone.
Jobs also addressed how he felt when he was booed onstage during his Macworld keynote in August of that year. He announced a partnership with rival Microsoft — including a live, onscreen appearance from Bill Gates — garnering jeers from the Mac-friendly crowd.
“The situation had become so polarized, I wasn’t that surprised,” Jobs said. “My job isn’t to win a popularity contest right now. My job is to help the team at Apple do the right things to turn this company around so it can really prosper again.”
When this interview was recorded, Apple’s stock price was only $0.78 per share. It’s now the most valuable company in the world, worth more than $800 billion.