Steve Jobs: Brilliant Tyrant

Apple's mercurial CEO creates a risky rollercoaster ride for shareholders
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2008 1:12 PM CST
Steve Jobs: Brilliant Tyrant
Apple CEO Steve Jobs talks about the price and availability of the new MacBook Air during his keynote at the MacWorld Conference in San Francisco, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008. The super-slim new laptop is less than an inch thick and turns on the moment it's opened. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)   (Associated Press)

Steve Jobs is an undisputed Silicon Valley superstar, but his genius has a price, Fortune reports. Jobs is a risk-taking, short-tempered tyrant, and those foibles make Apple a potential rollercoaster for investors. Jobs threatened the company—and his own freedom—in two separate backdating scandals, and, reports the magazine, risked his own life by long avoiding treatment for his pancreatic cancer.

For Apple, a risk to Jobs’ life is also a risk to the stock price. An analyst once predicted that if Jobs went to jail in the backdating scandal, shares would instantly drop 20%. Jobs is also tough to work for. “He made people feel terrible; he made people cry,” said one writer who covered Jobs. “But he was almost always right.” (Read more Steve Jobs stories.)

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