FBI file casts light on the sinister side of Steve Jobs
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Friday 10 February 2012
Steve Jobs was a tyrannical boss and a callous boyfriend, prone to distorting the truth to get what he wanted, but he was always charming to the neighbours. In other words: suitable material for a government job.
These were the conclusions of a background check carried out by the FBI in 1991, before the late Apple founder was appointed to President George Bush's export council, which advised on trade matters.
The release of the FBI file revealed how the Bush administration overlooked Mr Jobs's confession of youthful drug use and a slew of testimonials from former colleagues who questioned his integrity.
An internet guessing game over which of Mr Jobs' Apple colleagues might have criticised him ensued.
"Several individuals questioned Mr Jobs's honesty, stating that Mr Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals," the FBI wrote. One Apple employee said Mr Jobs "alienated a lot of people at Apple as a result of his ambition", while two more described him as "strong-willed, stubborn, hardworking and driven, which they believe is why he is so successful".
A female friend with whom Mr Jobs had experimented with drugs, called him callous in his personal relationships, describing his "personal life as being lacking due to his narcissism and shallowness".
The background check was carried out after Mr Jobs' firing from Apple, and before his triumphant return.
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