Steven Paul Jobs (born February 24, 1955) is an American business magnate and inventor. He is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Apple Inc.. Jobs also previously served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, following the acquisition of Pixar by Disney. He was credited in the 1995 movie Toy Story as an executive producer.
In the late 1970s, Jobs, with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Mike Markkula, and others, designed, developed, and marketed one of the first commercially successful lines of personal computers, the Apple II series. In the early 1980s, Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of the mouse-driven graphical user interface which led to the creation of the Macintosh. After losing a power struggle with the board of directors in 1984, Jobs resigned from Apple and founded NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in the higher education and business markets. Apple’s subsequent 1996 buyout of NeXT brought Jobs back to the company he co-founded, and he has served as its CEO since 1997.
In 1986, he acquired the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm Ltd which was spun off as Pixar Animation Studios. He remained CEO and majority shareholder at 50.1% until its acquisition by The Walt Disney company in 2006. Consequently Jobs became Disney’s largest individual shareholder at 7% and a member of Disney’s Board of Directors.
Jobs’ history in business has contributed much to the symbolic image of the idiosyncratic, individualistic Silicon Valley entrepreneur, emphasizing the importance of design and understanding the crucial role aesthetics play in public appeal. His work driving forward the development of products that are both functional and elegant has earned him a devoted following.
In recent years, the company has branched out, introducing and improving upon other digital appliances. With the introduction of the iPod portable music player, iTunes digital music software, and the iTunes Store, the company made forays into consumer electronics and music distribution. In 2007, Apple entered the cellular phone business with the introduction of the iPhone, a multi-touch display cell phone, which also included the features of an iPod and, with its own mobile browser, revolutionized the mobile browsing scene. While stimulating innovation, Jobs also reminds his employees that “real artists ship”, by which he means that delivering working products on time is as important as innovation and attractive design.
Jobs is both admired and criticized for his consummate skill at persuasion and salesmanship, which has been dubbed the “reality distortion field” and is particularly evident during his keynote speeches (colloquially known as “Stevenotes”) at Macworld Expos and at Apple’s own World Wide Developers Conferences.
via Steve Jobs