Steve Jobs: Heart of Gold?


CNN has posted an atricle about Steve Jobs calling the father of a boy who was stabbed when some other kids told him to hand over his iPod. After killing him, they took tennis shoes, cell phone, and the iPod.

Jobs talked with the father on the phone for several minutes, and was very sincere. He was notably concerned that this had happened. The article goes into more detail.

It’s really cool when the CEO of a big corporation, who gets paid a buck per year, takes the time to do something like that. Awesome. I usually have a hatred for CEOs, but Steve Jobs seems to be different.


John Truong

IANAL, but the gesture of a phone call extending condolences isn’t of any value as a legal defence for anything, so it’s not something you do as a legal CYA. If you do it as a PR move, then you publicize it, mention it in a press release or something else like that. Everybody but Apple is talking about this.

Now, this is not to say that there’s no risk of some lawsuit being brought against Apple, or that Apple’s wouldn’t be worried about it and trying to figure out how to cover Apple’s butt, but reality check here…the legal department would never allow anyone but a lawyer to contact Mr Rose.

One reason CEO’s don’t make a habit of things like this is because it actually implies an awareness of culpability or responsibility, which actually makes Apple an easier target for in a suit. If Apple Legal is whispering anything in Jobs’ ear, it’s “DON’T DO IT”.

Being cynical doesn’t make you wrong, but it sure increases your chances of it. Life’s too short and lonely as it is for that anyway.


Am I being cynical because I see this as a CYA maneuver? America has gone lawsuit-happy (thanks you so BLOODY much to all the trial lawyers out there) and while Jobs may genuinely be concerned about the welfare of this family, he’s probably got Apple Legal whispering sweet nothings in his ear about how this could blow up in Apple’s face without some damage control.

Come to think of it, I KNOW I’m being cynical. Doesn’t mean I’m wrong though.

John Truong

I think it’s important to note that it’s the New York Times and CNN that have publicized this, not Apple or Steve Jobs. It would be cynical to think the phone call was made only for marketing purposes. I think over time, he has mellowed into quite a family man. As a father myself, I hurt too when I read about kids dying so senselessly.


re: josh- “I usually have a hatred for CEOs, but Steve Jobs seems to be different.” My point is that had Jason (whom i respect and read) left off that bit about “I usually have a hatred for CEOs….’ it would have been a better article. On the other hand Jason can write whatever he wishes…. and i did slightly slag him and therfore … apologies. cheers…

Jason Terhorst

Marc brings up a good point. Is Jobs doing this because he’s genuinely concerned for the family, or is this just a marketing bit to make people love him? After all, there have been a couple publishers who have put out less-than-flattering biographies about him. Is he trying to turn that around?

Josh Pigford

giovanni, if my reading serves me correctly, Jason made one comment about other CEO’s. It would be more charitable for you to keep things in context, and not having had to slag Jason’s post with a sweeping gneralization. bad form, buddy.


Hi. It would have been more chartibale to have praised Jobs’ action as an responsible CEO, and not having had to slag other CEOs with a sweeping generalization. bad form, buddy. cheers…

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