In an interview with Fortune, outgoing Apple board member Bill Campbell discussed the years he spent at Apple, from his recruitment by John Sculley as head of marketing in 1983, to the post-Jobs era spearheaded by former COO Tim Cook. Campbell tells of a young Steve Jobs as he slowly rose to the role of CEO:

“I watched him emerge as a CEO in real time,” Campbell says. “I had a continuum with him. I watched him when he was general manager of the Mac division and when he went off and started NeXT. I watched Steve go from being a creative entrepreneur to a guy who had to run a business.”

Another of the many interesting tidbits included in the interview tells the story of how Steve Jobs invited him to the Apple board of directors:

It was 1997, shortly after Jobs had returned to Apple. Jobs and Campbell were neighbors in Palo Alto, and Jobs would frequently take walks on weekends and knock on Campbell’s door. Sometimes Jobs simply would wander into Campbell’s backyard and sit down by the pool. “He came by one day, and we sat on a bench by the pool,” Campbell says, “and he said, ‘I’d like you to join the Apple board.’ The only time I’ve had a rush like that was when I was asked to be a trustee of Columbia University. I said, without hesitation, ‘For sure.’ ”

The director also talked about the ongoing rivalry that began to build between Apple and Google in recent years. Campbell was in a unique position to observe this rivalry, as he served as an advisor to Google in addition to his position at Apple—a duality Steve Jobs expressed his displeasure with in no uncertain terms:

“Steve would say, ‘If you’re helping them you’re hurting me.’ He would yell at me,” recalls Campbell, whose normal banter typically needs to be sanitized for most publications. “ I’d say, ‘I can’t do HTML, come on. I’m just coaching them on how to run their company better.’”

The insightful interview also goes on to describe the events at Apple that led Campbell into his role of “coaching” executives as an advisor to the CEOs of companies like Twitter and Amazon. You can read the full interview over at Fortune.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

4 Responses to “Bill Campbell interview sheds light on his time at Apple, Steve Jobs, and more”

  1. A bunch of interesting tidbits here. All the best to Mr. Campbell in the future.


  2. Scott Rose says:

    Finally, this disgusting parasite of a human being is gone!! Good riddance to this disgusting man who has done more to hurt the Mac platform than almost any other man in existence. The man who has always allowed his company Intuit to treat all Mac users like second-class citizens, which still continues to this day. The man who has never lifted a finger of good for the Mac platform. The man who allowed his company to drop all support for Quicken for the Mac, then drop all support for QuickBooks for the Mac, then reluctantly bring back QuickBooks after many years, but still never brought back Quicken and still keeps QuickBooks paralyzed with 99% less features than the Windows versions of QuickBooks. The man who allowed his company to never develop any other accounting products for the Mac. The man who made everyone in the entire tech industry doubt that the Mac was a viable business machine. Why Steve Jobs was EVER friends with this pathetic human being is beyond me. Good riddance.


  3. engintutav says: