What Happened After Steve was Fired from Apple?

After losing a power struggle with the Apple board of directors in 1985, Steve Jobs went on to found NeXT, a computer platform development company for the higher ed and business markets. The following year, he also acquired a computer graphics division of Lucasfilm that went on to become Pixar. There, he served as CEO and a 50.1% majority shareholder until Disney bought Pixar in 2006. Jobs received 7% of Disney shares and joined the board as the single largest individual shareholder.

Meanwhile, back at Apple, CEO John Sculley was initially successful at increasing sales from $800 million to $8 billion, but his leadership role was marked by controversy when he departed from Job’s sales strategy—especially his decision to compete with IBM. He was ultimately forced out of Apple in 1993 as margins began to erode, sales diminished and Apple stock declined.

In 1996, as Apple struggled to deliver its next operating system, Gil Amelio, the new Apple CEO, decided to leverage the NeXT platform as the foundation for the Mac OS X. This opened the door for Jobs to return to Apple, first as an advisor and then as interim CEO. He ultimately resumed his title of CEO and proceeded to bring the company back from the brink of bankruptcy to profitability. During this time, he launched a slew of innovative products, including the iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone and iPad as well as Apple Retail Stores, iTunes Store and the App Store. In 2011, Apple become the world’s most valuable public company and many regard the Jobs’ return and triumph at Apple as one of the greatest turnaround stories in history.

In 2003, Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He underwent a liver transplant in 2009 but his health continued to decline. On medical leave for most of 2011, Jobs resigned in August that year, and was elected chairman of the board. He passed away on October 5, 2011.

“Steve Jobs is a national treasure.”
—Arthur Rock, early investor in Apple and Intel

(Largely excerpted from Wikipedia)