Fresh off a hugely successful iPad launch, Steve Jobs is hot once again. But the enigmatic leader of Apple has not always been held in such high esteem. Jobs is praised as much as he is criticized. He is the ultimate conundrum because some of the qualities that have made him a successful CEO have also been known to work against him. Let's take a look at a few of the qualities of the Apple CEO.

IN PICTURES: World's Greatest Investors

A Strong Will

The tenaciousness and singular focus of Steve Jobs has made him a successful CEO at both Apple and Pixar. But his strong-willed nature has also landed him in hot water at Apple. Did you know that Steve Jobs was once fired from Apple Computer? Jobs' stubbornness led to his removal from the company that he helped found. The Apple CEO was canned back in 1985 after a bitter dispute with company management.

Jobs and former Apple CEO John Sculley often butted heads about the future of Apple. Some rumors have circulated that Jobs tried to have the CEO removed while he was traveling on business. His plan, however, backfired, and Sculley convinced the Apple board to oust its founder.


It takes tremendous belief in one's abilities to create innovative products like the iPod, iPhone, iPad and iMac. Steve Jobs is known for being the genius inventor and brains behind Apple's cool product lineup. Some call it confidence, but critics often refer to it as arrogance.

Jobs' supreme belief in his own abilities has led to Apple developing some duds as well. The Apple LISA (Jobs was removed from this project in the early going), G4 Cube, and iPod Hi-Fi all failed to wow consumers. There was also the hockey puck mouse that Steve Jobs proclaimed the best mouse ever created. The hockey mouse has been included in many "Worst Tech Products in History" lists. Jobs often believes so deeply in his own vision that he may fail to see some of the shortcomings in his own ideas. (To learn more, see CEO Savvy And Stock's Success Go Hand In Hand.)


Jobs guards any and all information about Apple computer like a mother protecting her baby. Employees have to go through several layers of security and are consistently monitored throughout the day. Some reports maintain that Jobs routinely feeds employees misinformation because he is afraid that information will be leaked to competitors or worse yet the media. Two months ago, Jobs forced a newspaper editor to remove a tweet that was sent from an iPad before its release.

He keeps products secret from most employees, even the ones involved in product development. Engineers are often unaware of the final product being made until the product is launched. According to Palm CEO and former Apple senior exec Jon Rubinstein, information is released to employees on a "need-to-know basis." (While Jobs is considered one of the best, check out a few who weren't in Pages From The Bad CEO Playbook.)


Steve Jobs has become famous for his passionate drive. The same passion that has taken him to the top of the business world has also been unleashed on helpless employees in the form of anger. Jobs presence is so intimidating that employees worry "about getting trapped with him in an elevator for a few seconds, afraid that they might not have a job when the doors opened," according to a 2000 article from Salon magazine.

An Apple engineer showed an iPad to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak for two minutes after the iPad launched and was subsequently fired. There have even been rumors noted on that Jobs does routine checks of employee iPhones and will fire employees whose phones are not password protected. In a tragic case, a Chinese subcontractor even went as far as committing suicide allegedly after losing an iPhone prototype.

The Bottom Line

As you can clearly see, the same attributes that have made Steve Jobs a captain of industry have also caused him to face some setbacks. Determination, passion, fear and extreme confidence are all traits that have helped to make Steve Jobs the iconic figure that he is today. (For more, check out Hype It Like Steve Jobs.)

Feeling uninformed? Read this week's financial news highlights in Water Cooler Finance: Buffett's Armed and Greece Keeps Falling.

Related Articles
  1. Wealth Management

    A Look At Britney Spears' Net Worth and Her Conservatorship

    Discover how Britney Spears' net worth plunged in 2007 and has since been growing under the management and direction of her conservatorship.
  2. Professionals

    Common Interview Questions for Business Analysts

    Identify some of the most common job interview questions asked of business analyst candidates, and learn the responses that will make you stand out.
  3. Wealth Management

    Warren Buffet’s Frugal, So Why Aren’t You?

    Aside from his renowned investing prowess, Buffet is legendarily frugal.
  4. Economics

    Management Strategies From A Top CEO

    Jack Welch is a legend in the business world: during the two decades he was CEO of General Electric, the company’s value rose by 4000%.
  5. Entrepreneurship

    Steve Jobs And The Apple Story

    Steve Jobs passed away in October of 2011 at the age of 56. His accomplishments go far beyond a brief summary, but here are some highlights.
  6. Investing

    From Supermodel to Entrepreneur: Gisele Bündchen's Sejaa Pure Skincare

    As one of the highest-paid models in history, Bündchen has turned her name and image into a worldwide brand, and Sejaa is part of her massive empire.
  7. Investing

    5 CEOs Who Returned to Save the Day

    Instead of toying with trial and error, many struggling companies have adopted a tried and true "founder knows best" strategy, bringing back former CEOs.
  8. Investing

    6 Famous Words of Advice From Business Leaders

    Here are some words of motivation from leaders who measured their success by more than the (substantial) money they made.
  9. Investing

    Oprah Takes a Big Bet With Weight Watchers

    Does "The Oprah Effect" still work, and can Winfrey reinvigorate a brand that's been struggling for years?
  10. Investing

    Famous Chains That Began As Mom-And-Pop Stores

    Even the largest chains in the world started with a single location. Here are examples of famous brands that have humble beginnings as mom-and-pop stores.
  1. How are Rupert Murdoch's holdings distributed?

    Rupert Murdoch owns a controlling share of News Corporation and over 750 different businesses. Some of the major brands he ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How did Bernard Baruch attain his wealth?

    Bernard Baruch obtained his fortune by investing in profitable stocks on Wall Street. Baruch is known as a legendary stock ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why was Bernard Baruch known as the "Park Bench Statesman?"

    As someone who preferred to conduct his meetings in informal settings and was led by persuasion rather than pressure, Bernard ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How did Nathan Rothschild become a stock exchange speculator?

    Market maker Nathan Rothschild learned much of his financial savvy from his father, who dealt in coins and paper money. He ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What advice does Howard Schultz offer would-be business moguls?

    Starbucks CEO, billionaire and former sports tycoon Howard Schultz has several pieces of advice for would-be moguls and, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Why did Howard Schultz leave Starbucks, only to return eight years later?

    Howard Schultz left Starbucks in 2000 due to exhaustion from growing Starbucks from a regional coffee chain to a global company ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Bar Chart

    A style of chart used by some technical analysts, on which, as illustrated below, the top of the vertical line indicates ...
  2. Bullish Engulfing Pattern

    A chart pattern that forms when a small black candlestick is followed by a large white candlestick that completely eclipses ...
  3. Cyber Monday

    An expression used in online retailing to describe the Monday following U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. Cyber Monday is generally ...
  4. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  5. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
Trading Center