Very few other companies or corporate leaders—perhaps none

Very few other companies or corporate leaders—perhaps none—could have

gotten away with the brilliant audacity of associating their brand with Gandhi,

Einstein, Picasso, and the Dalai Lama. Jobs was able to encourage people to

 

define themselves as anticorporate, creative, innovative rebels simply by the

computer they used. “Steve created the only lifestyle brand in the tech industry,”

Larry Ellison said. “There are cars people are proud to have—Porsche, Ferrari,

 

Prius—because what I drive says something about me. People feel

the same way about an Apple product.”

Starting with the “Think Different” campaign, and continuing through the rest

of his years at Apple, Jobs held a freewheeling three-hour meeting every

 

Wednesday afternoon with his top agency, marketing, and communications

people to kick around messaging strategy. “There’s not a CEO on the planet

who deals with marketing the way Steve does,” said Clow. “Every Wednesday he

 

approves each new commercial, print ad, and billboard.” At the end of the

meeting, he would often take Clow and his two agency colleagues, Duncan

Milner and James Vincent, to Apple’s closely guarded design studio to see

 

what products were in the works. “He gets very passionate and emotional

when he shows us what’s in development,” said Vincent. By sharing with his

marketing gurus his passion for the products as they were being created,

 

he was able to ensure that almost every ad they produced was infused with his emotion.

iCEO

As he was finishing work on the “Think Different” ad, Jobs did some different

thinking of his own. He decided that he would officially take over running the

 

company, at least on a temporary basis. He had been the de facto leader since

Amelio’s ouster ten weeks earlier, but only as an advisor. Fred Anderson had the

titular role of interim CEO. On September 16, 1997, Jobs announced that he would

 

take over that title, which inevitably got abbreviated as iCEO. His commitment was

tentative: He took no salary and signed no contract. But he was not tentative

 

in his actions.

He was in charge,

and he did not

rule by consensus.

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