In 1984, Jobs bought the Jackling House and estate, and resided there for a decade. After that, he leased it out for several years until 2000 when he stopped maintaining the house, allowing exposure to the weather to degrade it. In 2004, Jobs received permission from the town of Woodside to demolish the house in order to build a smaller contemporary styled one. After a few years in court, the house was finally demolished in 2011, a few months before he died.
In 1986, Jobs funded the spinout of The Graphics Group (later renamed Pixar) from Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division for the price of $10 million, $5 million of which was given to the company as capital and $5 million of which was paid to Lucasfilm for technology rights.
In 2003 and 2004, as Pixar’s contract with Disney was running out, Jobs and Disney chief executive Michael Eisner tried but failed to negotiate a new partnership, Pixar would seek a new partner to distribute its films after its contract expired.
With the purchase of NeXT, much of the company’s technology found its way into Apple products, most notably NeXTSTEP, which evolved into Mac OS X. Under Jobs’s guidance, the company increased sales significantly with the introduction of the iMac and other new products; since then, appealing designs and powerful branding have worked well for Apple. At the 2000 Macworld Expo, Jobs officially dropped the “interim” modifier from his title at Apple and became permanent CEO.
Jobs had a public war of words with Dell Computer CEO Michael Dell, starting in 1987, when Jobs first criticized Dell for making “un-innovative beige boxes”. Then, in 2006, Jobs sent an email to all employees when Apple’s market capitalization rose above Dell’s. It read:
Team, it turned out that Michael Dell wasn’t perfect at predicting the future. Based on today’s stock market close, Apple is worth more than Dell. Stocks go up and down, and things may be different tomorrow, but I thought it was worth a moment of reflection today. Steve.
Jobs was both admired and criticized for his consummate skill at persuasion and salesmanship, which has been dubbed the “reality distortion field” and was particularly evident during his keynote speeches (colloquially known as “Stevenotes”) at Macworld Expos and at Apple Worldwide Developers Conferences.
Jobs usually went to work wearing a black long-sleeved mock turtleneck made by Issey Miyake, Levi’s 501 blue jeans, and New Balance 991 sneakers.
In 2005, Jobs responded to criticism of Apple’s poor recycling programs for e-waste in the US by lashing out at environmental and other advocates at Apple’s annual meeting in Cupertino in April. A few weeks later, Apple announced it would take back iPods for free at its retail stores. The Computer TakeBack Campaign responded by flying a banner from a plane over the Stanford University graduation at which Jobs was the commencement speaker. The banner read “Steve, don’t be a mini-player—recycle all e-waste.”
In 2006, he further expanded Apple’s recycling programs to any US customer who buys a new Mac. This program includes shipping and “environmentally friendly disposal” of their old systems.
Jobs was perceived as a demanding perfectionist who always aspired to position his businesses and their products at the forefront of the information technology industry by foreseeing and setting innovation and style trends. He summed up this self-concept at the end of his keynote speech at the Macworld Conference and Expo in January 2007, by quoting ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky:
There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very, very beginning. And we always will.
On July 1, 2008, a US$7 billion class action suit was filed against several members of the Apple board of directors for revenue lost because of alleged securities fraud.
In a 2011 interview with biographer Walter Isaacson, Jobs revealed that he had met with US President Barack Obama, complained about the nation’s shortage of software engineers, and told Obama that he was “headed for a one-term presidency”.
In October 2003, Jobs was diagnosed with cancer. In mid 2004, he announced to his employees that he had a cancerous tumor in his pancreas.