Steve Jobs single-handedly cut Apple Computer one of the deals of the decade while he had no official standing within the company - and after he had, in apparent desperation, sold his 1.5 million Apple shares.
Jobs' role in replacing four members of Apple's board and turning slow-moving patent talks into a startling alliance with Apple's old enemy Microsoft, is the cover story in the new issue of Time magazine. With a canny sense of posterity, Jobs let Time in on the secret shortly before his keynote speech at Macworld Expo in Boston.
The Time story confirms that, as widely rumoured in late June, Jobs sold the 1.5 million shares he received when Apple bought his Next Software last December, having "given up hope that the board was going to do anything." He currently holds one "symbolic" share in the company. Ironically, since Jobs' keynote, the shares he sold at $15 have risen as high as $29.
Time eavesdrops on the cellphone call between Jobs and Microsoft CEO Bill Gates which sealed the deal, and describes how the alliance grew out of patent talks begun under former CEO Gil Amelio. Microsoft CFO Gregory Maffei met with Jobs in what Maffei describes to Time as "a pretty radical change of relations between the two companies."
Maffei also describes Jobs as having "a lot more ability" than former Apple chairman and CEO Gil Amelio.
Jobs confirms that despite his lack of official status, he has been running things at Apple - and has killed off as many as 70% of planned new products at the company - "keeping the 30% that were gems." He also alludes to new products that are "a whole new paradigm of looking at computers".
The full text of the story can be found at