Steven Paul Jobs
Jobs, Steven Paul (jŏbz) [key], 1955–2011, American computer-industry executive, b. San Francisco. He dropped out of Reed College (1972), and working with Stephen Wozniak, helped launch the personal-computer revolution by founding (1976) the Apple company and introducing (1977) its first product, the Apple II computer. Jobs later successfully established Apple's line as a sleek, user-friendly, graphically oriented alternative to the IBM-Microsoft personal computer and an important factor in desktop publishing. He resigned in 1985 after losing a corporate power struggle.
In 1985 he founded the NeXT Computer Company and in 1986 bought Pixar Animation Studios, a computer animation firm founded by George Lucas. When Pixar went public in 1995, Jobs became an overnight billionaire. In 2006 Pixar was purchased by the Walt Disney Company, making Jobs the largest shareholder in Disney.
In 1996, Apple acquired NeXT and Jobs returned to the company, serving as chief executive from 1997 (interim CE0, 1997–2000). He played a key role in reviving the financially ailing company, and reconfirmed his reputation as an industry visionary. Jobs oversaw the development of elegantly designed digital music players, smartphones, and computer tablets whose enormous success also led Apple to become a significant music and software vendor. Seriously ill, he stepped down as chief executive in 2011 and was briefly Apple's chairman before he died.
See biography by W. Isaacson (2011); L. Butcher, Accidental Millionaire (1988); J. Young, Steve Jobs (1988); S. Levy, Insanely Great (1994); A. Deutschman, The Second Coming of Steve Jobs (2000); D. A. Price, The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company (2008).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.