At the end of that month, Sculley finally worked up the nerve to tell Jobs that he should give up running the Macintosh division.
He walked over to Jobs's office one evening and brought the human resources manager,
Jay Elliot, to make the confrontation more formal.
"There is no one who admires your brilliance and vision more than I do," Sculley began.
He had uttered such flatteries before,
but this time it was clear that there would be a brutal "but" punctuating the thought.
And there was. "But this is really not going to work," he declared.
The flatteries punctured by "buts" continued.
"We have developed a great friendship with each other," he said,
"but I have lost confidence in your ability to run the Macintosh division."
He also berated Jobs for badmouthing him as a bozo behind his back.
Jobs looked stunned and countered with an odd challenge,
that Sculley should help and coach him more:
"You've got to spend more time with me." Then he lashed back.
He told Sculley he knew nothing about computers,
was doing a terrible job running the company,
and had disappointed Jobs ever since coming to Apple.
Then he began to cry. Sculley sat there biting his fingernails.
"I'm going to bring this up with the board," Sculley declared.
"I'm going to recommend that you step down from your operating position of running the Macintosh division.
I want you to know that."
He urged Jobs not to resist and to agree instead to work on developing new technologies and products.
Jobs jumped from his seat and turned his intense stare on Sculley.
"I don't believe you're going to do that," he said.
"If you do that, you're going to destroy the company."
Over the next few weeks Jobs's behavior fluctuated wildly.
At one moment he would be talking about going off to run AppleLabs,
but in the next moment he would be enlisting support to have Sculley ousted.
He would reach out to Sculley, then lash out at him behind his back, sometimes on the same night.
One night at 9 he called Apple's general counsel Al Eisenstat to say
he was losing confidence in Sculley and needed his help convincing the board to fire him;
at 11 the same night, he phoned Sculley to say,
"You're terrific, and I just want you to know I love working with you."