“I didn’t get any sleep last night,” Jobs replied.“Why? What’s the problem?”
“I was thinking about all the things that need to be done and about the deal
we’re making, and it’s all running together for me. I’m really tired now
and not thinking clearly. I just don’t want to be asked any more questions.”
Amelio said that wasn’t possible. He needed to say something.
Finally Jobs answered, “Look, if you have to tell them something, just say
advisor to the chairman.” And that is what Amelio did.
The announcement was made that evening—December 20, 1996—in front of 250
cheering employees at Apple headquarters. Amelio did as Jobs had requested and
described his new role as merely that of a part-time advisor. Instead of appearing
from the wings of the stage, Jobs walked in from the rear of the auditorium and
ambled down the aisle. Amelio had told the gathering that Jobs would be too tired
to say anything, but by then he had been energized by the applause. “I’m very excited,”
Jobs said. “I’m looking forward to get to reknow some old colleagues.” Louise Kehoe
of the Financial Times came up to the stage afterward and asked Jobs, sounding almost
accusatory, whether he was going to end up taking over Apple. “Oh no, Louise,” he said.
“There are a lot of other things going on in my life now. I have a family. I am involved
at Pixar. My time is limited, but I hope I can share some ideas.”
The next day Jobs drove to Pixar. He had fallen increasingly in love with the place, and
he wanted to let the crew there know he was still going to be president and deeply
involved. But the Pixar people were happy to see him go back to Apple part-time; a
little less of Jobs’s focus would be a good thing. He was useful when there were big
negotiations, but he could be dangerous when he had too much time on his hands.
When he arrived at Pixar that day, he went to Lasseter’s office and explained that
even just being an advisor at Apple would take up a lot of his time. He said he wanted
Lasseter’s blessing. “I keep thinking about all the time away from my family this will
cause, and the time away from the other family at Pixar,” Jobs said. “But the only reason