In the pre-recorded interview, Rose asked Ellison how he thinks Apple will fare without Steve Jobs.
Ellison appears to say Apple won't do well without Jobs, although not in so many words. Here's a snippet from the interview's transcript:
CHARLIE ROSE: Let's talk about Steve Jobs. What is it about him? You — we recognize the fact that he loved Apple and he wanted to make Apple great and he did. But what was it about him that enabled him to do it, other than he worked hard?
LARRY ELLISON: He was — he was brilliant. I mean, our Edison. He was our Picasso. He was an incredible inventor.
CHARLIE ROSE: So what happens to Apple without Steve?
LARRY ELLISON: Well, we already know.
CHARLIE ROSE: What?
LARRY ELLISON: We saw — we conducted the experiment. I mean, it's been done. We saw Apple with Steve Jobs. We saw Apple without Steve Jobs. We saw Apple with Steve Jobs. Now, we're gonna see Apple without Steve Jobs.
That's some pretty vague language, so what the heck does that mean?
It sounds like Ellison is referring to the last time Jobs was away from Apple, following his ouster in 1985. That was the beginning of Apple's great decline in the late 80s and early 90s. It wasn't until Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 that things started to turn around again.
Ellison and Jobs were close friends. If anyone has insight into the way Jobs worked at Apple, it's him.
You can watch the clip here.
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