At Apple his status revived. Instead of seeking ways to curtail Jobs’s authority, Sculley
gave him more: The Lisa and Macintosh divisions were folded together, with Jobs in
charge. He was flying high, but this did not serve to make him more mellow. Indeed
there was a memorable display of his brutal honesty when he stood in front of the
combined Lisa and Macintosh teams to describe how they would be merged. His
Macintosh group leaders would get all of the top positions, he said, and a quarter
of the Lisa staff would be laid off. “You guys failed,” he said, looking directly at those
who had worked on the Lisa. “You’re a B team. B players. Too many people here are B or
C players, so today we are releasing some of you to have
the opportunity to work at our sister companies here in the valley.”
He never ended up warming to Sculley. “He was incredibly phony, a complete poseur,” he later said.
“He pretended to be interested in technology, but he wasn’t. He was a marketing guy, and that is
what marketing guys are: paid poseurs.”
Matters came to a head when Jobs visited New York in March 1983 and was able to convert the
courtship into a blind and blinding romance. “I really think you’re the guy,” Jobs said as they walked
through Central Park. “I want you to come and work with me. I can learn so much from you.” Jobs,
who had cultivated father figures in the past, knew just how to play to Sculley’s ego and insecurities.
It worked. “I was smitten by him,” Sculley later admitted. “Steve was one of the brightest people
I’d ever met. I shared with him a passion for ideas.”
Sculley, who was interested in art history, steered them toward the Metropolitan Museum for a little
test of whether Jobs was really willing to learn from others. “I wanted to see how well he could take
coaching in a subject where he had no background,” he recalled. As they strolled through the Greek
and Roman antiquities, Sculley expounded on the difference between the Archaic sculpture of the sixth
century B.C. and the Periclean sculptures a century later. Jobs, who loved to pick up historical nuggets
he never learned in college, seemed to soak it in. “I gained a sense that I could be a teacher to a
brilliant student,” Sculley recalled. Once again he indulged the conceit that they were alike: “I saw
in him a mirror image of my younger self. I, too, was impatient, stubborn, arrogant, impetuous.
My mind exploded with ideas, often to the
exclusion of everything else.
I, too, was intolerant of
those who couldn’t live
up to my demands.”