Slouching toward Cupertino
"Does anyone know Steve well enough to call him on this?" Amelio asked his staff.
Because his encounter with Jobs two years earlier had ended badly, Amelio didn't want to make the call himself.
But as it turned out, he didn't need to. Apple was already getting incoming pings from NeXT.
A midlevel product marketer at NeXT, Garrett Rice, had simply picked up the phone and, without consulting Jobs,
called Ellen Hancock to see if she might be interested in taking a look at its software.
She sent someone to meet with him.
By Thanksgiving of 1996 the two companies had begun midlevel talks, and Jobs picked up the phone to call Amelio directly.
"I'm on my way to Japan, but I'll be back in a week and I'd like to see you as soon as I return," he said.
"Don't make any decision until we can get together."
Amelio, despite his earlier experience with Jobs, was thrilled to hear from him and entranced by the possibility of working with him.
"For me, the phone call with Steve was like inhaling the flavors of a great bottle of vintage wine," he recalled.
He gave his assurance he would make no deal with Be or anyone else before they got together.