That month Amelio had to face the annual stockholders meeting
and explain why the results for the final quarter of 1996 showed a 30% plummet in sales from the year before.
Shareholders lined up at the microphones to vent their anger.
Amelio was clueless about how poorly he handled the meeting.
"The presentation was regarded as one of the best I had ever given," he later wrote.
But Ed Woolard, the former CEO of DuPont who was now the chair of the Apple board (Markkula had been demoted to vice chair), was appalled.
"This is a disaster," his wife whispered to him in the midst of the session. Woolard agreed.
"Gil came dressed real cool, but he looked and sounded silly," he recalled.
"He couldn't answer the questions, didn't know what he was talking about, and didn't inspire any confidence."
Woolard picked up the phone and called Jobs, whom he'd never met.
The pretext was to invite him to Delaware to speak to DuPont executives.
Jobs declined, but as Woolard recalled, "the request was a ruse in order to talk to him about Gil."
He steered the phone call in that direction and asked Jobs point-blank what his impression of Amelio was.