Apple stock backdating scandal

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While a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is often tantamount to a swiftly executed death sentence, a biopsy revealed that Jobs had a rare—and treatable—form of the disease.

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(Jobs now owns 7.3% of Disney, worth .6 billion, in addition to Apple stock worth 2 million.) No less an authority than Jack Welch has called Jobs “the most successful CEO today.” Jobs, at age 53, has even become a global cultural guru, shaping what entertainment we watch, how we listen to music, and what sort of objects we use to work and play. Jobs is also among the most controversial figures in business.

Jobs is notoriously secretive and controlling when it comes to his relationship with the press, and he tries to stifle stories that haven’t received his blessing with threats and cajolery. While Jobs agreed to be interviewed by my colleague Betsy Morris on the subject of Apple’s selection as America’s Most Admired Company, he refused to comment for this story, which had been in the works for months.

Dozens of people who work or have worked with Jobs did agree to extensive interviews, most insisting on not being named (even if praising him) for fear of incurring his anger.

He oozes smug superiority, lacing his public comments with ridicule of Apple’s rivals, which he casts as mediocre, evil, and—worst of all—lacking taste.

No CEO is more willful, or more brazen, at making his own rules, in ways both good and bad.

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