Jobs was somewhat amused by Ellison’s self-appointed role. “Larry brings this up now and then,” he told a reporter. “I try to explain my role at Apple is

 

what is going on,” he told Amelio. “I think all this is crazy.” Then he added a reassurance that was not at all genuine: “You and I have a good relationship.”

Jobs could have ended the speculation by releasing a statement rejecting Ellison’s idea, but much to Amelio’s annoyance, he didn’t. He remained aloof, which served both his interests and his nature.

By then the press had turned against Amelio. Business Week ran a cover asking “Is Apple Mincemeat?”; Red Herring ran an editorial headlined “Gil

Amelio, Please Resign”; and Wired ran a cover that showed the Apple logo crucified as a sacred heart with a crown of thorns and the headline “Pray.” Mike Barnicle of the Boston Globe, railing against years of Apple

mismanagement, wrote, “How can these nitwits still draw a paycheck when they took the only computer that didn’t frighten people and turned it into the technological equivalent of the 1997 Red Sox bullpen?”

When Jobs and Amelio had signed the contract in February, Jobs began hopping around exuberantly and declared, “You and I need to go out and have a great bottle of wine to celebrate!” Amelio offered to bring wine from

his cellar and suggested that they invite their wives. It took until June before they settled on a date, and despite the rising tensions they were able to have a good time. The food and wine were as mismatched as the diners; Amelio

brought a bottle of 1964 Cheval Blanc and a Montrachet that each cost about $300; Jobs chose a vegetarian restaurant in Redwood City where the food bill totaled $72. Amelio’s wife remarked

afterward,

“He’s such

a charmer,

and his wife is too.”

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