For those of you who may have been in a coma for the past 24-hours, Steve Jobs, the former Chief Executive Officer for Apple has died. The impressive thing is that for a lot of the world, they first received notice of Steve’s passing on one of his inventions: an iPhone, iPad, iPod or Apple Computer. What a way to go!
You didn’t have to have an Apple product to use Steve as a role model but here was a man who should serve as a role model for every chief executive. He took over Apple Computer at a time when bankruptcy was a distinct possibility and was willing to work for a salary of $1.00 per year. He also took his salary in stock options. If Apple, under Steve’s leadership did well, Steve would do well. If Apple failed, well, $1.00 per year isn’t what it used to be.
Every board of directors ought to consider that compensation for their CEO.
You can read better eulogies elsewhere, what I wanted to comment on was his very public private life. When he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer (usually a death sentence) Steve was fortunate in that he had a type that was treatable. With the proper treatment, his productive life could be extended for a decade or more. Time was of the essence and, from what I read, Steve had discovered it very early.
As his first choice for treatment, Steve chose “alternative” medicine. To me, a cancer survivor, the word “alternative” is synonymous with “instead of the proven”. I know that many choose alternative medicine if the proven treatment has failed for them, but to start off with it seems unwise.
Well, after about 6 months it must have become evident that the alternative medicine wasn’t working – so he switched to a more mainstream approach.
Had he started off with a more mainstream approach would he have still been with us? We’ll never know.
Steve, we’ll miss you.