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Steve Jobs was never fired, says former Apple CEO John Sculley

Steve Jobs and John Sculley ZDNet

(CBS) - Apple's former chief executive officer John Sculley is coming out to clear up the misconception that he fired Steve Jobs from the company he co-founded.

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In a new interview with the BBC at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sculley defended himself by pointing out that he didn't technically fire Jobs.

Sculley cites Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs as a fair documentation of what actually happened in May 1985.

"I've heard from people who have read the book Walter Isaacson cleared up some of the myths - that I never really did fire Steve Jobs and that Apple was actually a very profitable company," Sculley told the BBC. "So the myth that I fired Steve wasn't true and the myth that I destroyed Apple, that wasn't true either."

Sculley claims Apple was the most profitable computer company in the world at the time, with $2 billion of cash.

The major point of contention between the two men boiled down to marketing and pricing of the Apple II and Macintosh. "He wanted to cut the price of the Macintosh and I wanted to focus on the Apple II because we were a public company," said Sculley.

Sculley claims that they not only did they needed the Apple II's profits to show the company's earnings, they also couldn't afford to cut the cost on the Macintosh.

Even with Sculley defusing some of the hyperbole surrounding the story, it's quite an epic tale. Jobs' imagination surpassed what the technology and consumer market could handle at the time. Sculley was making shrewd decisions, rooted in the reality.

Perhaps it was this particular struggle that inspired the Think Different ad campaign that saluted iconoclastic thinkers.

"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently." Indeed.