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Return of the prodigal son
Return of the prodigal son
Dec. 20, 1996
Apple drifted after Steve Jobs left, making uninspired computers and losing market share. The company seemed to be headed for bankruptcy when it bought NeXT for its NeXTSTEP operating system and got Jobs in the bargain. The board, having lost confidence the management team, ousted its CEO and gave the position on an interim basis to Jobs for a nominal salary of $1 a year.

Determined to make Apple profitable again, Jobs quickly terminated several high-profile projects, including the Newton, Cyberdog and OpenDoc. Leaning heavily on Jonathan Ive, a British-born industrial designer he found in Apple's design department, Jobs introduced a series of distinctive products with a fresh new look, including the Bondi blue iMac, the tangerine iBook and the minimalist white iBook G3.

In 2000 he dropped "interim" from his title and began jokingly referring to himself as Apple's permanent iCEO.

NEXT: The iPod and the music industry
Last updated November 05 2009: 7:49 AM ET
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