WASHINGTON — Steve Jobs was a master at “casting spells” to keep employees motivated and working long hours, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has said, as he praised the late Apple CEO’s incredible leadership style that helped the company which was “on a path to die” to turn into one of the most valuable firms.
Jobs, the former Apple CEO who died of pancreatic cancer in 2011, was an example of “don’t do this at home” in his style of leadership, the billionaire philanthropist said.
“I was like a minor wizard because he would be casting spells, and I would see people mesmerised, but because I’m a minor wizard, the spells don’t work on me,” said Gates, the world’s second-richest person.
“I have yet to meet any person who in terms of picking talent, hyper-motivating that talent,” could match him, he said.
“He brought some incredibly positive things along with that toughness,” Gates said.
Jobs was a singular case, he said, where Apple was on a path to die and goes on to become the most valuable company in the world.
Since Jobs’ passing, leadership of the company has gone to current CEO Tim Cook.
Gates was interviewed by CNN for a programme on leadership that was scheduled for broadcast on Sunday.
When asked about his own style of leadership, Gates, who had his own reputation of being hard on people, said: “Other than a DOJ deposition I gave, no one ever said that when I went out to talk to the press or customers, that I was rude or abrupt or commanding.
Gates was referring to his deposition before the Department of Justice when it had sued Microsoft.
Inside Microsoft, “we were pretty tough on each other...sometimes that went too far”, Gates said.