People are leaving Steve’s office in tears again — he must be feeling better

When Steve Jobs went on medical leave in January for what turned out to be a liver transplant, one of the big questions was how Apple would fare in the absence of its visionary CEO. And as it turned out, the company did just fine. Earnings, stock price, product releases, sales — all just fine. But apparently there was a difference around headquarters while Jobs was gone. Things were … quieter, the atmosphere more relaxed, the decision-making process less tense. No more, says the Wall Street Journal.

Jobs is back in the office several days a week now, and while he’s still razor-thin, he’s also razor-sharp, giving almost all his attention, sources tell the Journal, to the much-rumored tablet device and micromanaging with a vigor not seen since he passed judgment on every detail of the iPhone. According to one source, the Journal wrote, “those working on the project are under intense scrutiny from Mr. Jobs, particularly with regard to the product’s advertising and marketing strategy.” The paper said another “person familiar with the matter” told it that “Mr. Jobs’s focus on the tablet has been jarring for some Apple employees, who had grown accustomed to a level of freedom over strategy and products while the CEO was on leave” and “people have had to readjust.”

As to the tablet itself, the Journal’s piece added nothing to the existing speculation (see “Rumor watch: the iPad and the plan to bring back the album“) beyond one source’s assertion that “Mr. Jobs killed the project twice in recent years, the first time because the battery life was too short, and the second time because there was insufficient memory.” And as to the veracity of the entire story, Jobs e-mailed the reporter to say that “much of your information is incorrect,” without going into any specifics. But in the absence of official details on his health, any indication that Jobs is still able to singe eyebrows with a stare and induce involuntary tremors with a word has to be considered good news.


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  • Curmudgeon2000

    Steve Jobs has a well-deserved reputation as a manipulative,
    threatening, abusive boss. It’s the kind of behavior one
    might expect from an inexperienced, low-level, minor manager,
    not some supposed visionary leader of a progressive,
    world-class high-tech company.

    In my experience, a quiet, private rebuke from a manager I
    respect and admire can be more devastating and motivating than
    a public dressing-down from a boss that I think is a jerk.
    That Jobs resorts to the such dramatic theatrics rather than
    cultivating an environment of mutual respect between manager
    and subordinate disqualifies him from being considered any kind
    of great manager, CEO, or leader.

  • Bart Hanson

    Wow, Curmudgeon said it well!

  • Chris Taylor

    When I began reading this article I thought it was about Steve Ballmer – he regularly throws temper tantrums, chairs, etc., and people leave his office in tears.

    If Steve Jobs is still being a tyrant and has not learned his lesson, he will shorten his life considerably. Unlike many, he got a second chance. He should calm down, behave himself, seek the opinion(s) of others, and stop running Apple into the ground. Wozniak left Apple for a reason. He probably tired of Jobs’ antics.

  • bbneo

    At least Jobs is the captain of a line of excellent, world-class, world leading products…

    Curly (Ballmer) is just pushing the same old Microsoft shell game.

  • fuzzywzhe

    “At least Jobs is the captain of a line of excellent, world-class, world leading products…”

    You mean over-priced MP3 players and tablets that nobody actually uses?

    Apple makes jewelry. Don’t confuse them for a technology company.