Woolard remembers Jobs being somewhat circumspect, saying that Amelio was not in the right job.
Jobs recalled being more blunt: I thought to myself, I either tell him the truth, that Gil is a bozo, or I lie by omission.
He's on the board of Apple, I have a duty to tell him what I think;
on the other hand, if I tell him, he will tell Gil,
in which case Gil will never listen to me again, and he'll fuck the people I brought into Apple.
All of this took place in my head in less than thirty seconds.
I finally decided that I owed this guy the truth. I cared deeply about Apple. So I just let him have it.
I said this guy is the worst CEO I've ever seen, I think if you needed a license to be a CEO he wouldn't get one.
When I hung up the phone, I thought, I probably just did a really stupid thing.
That spring Larry Ellison saw Amelio at a party and introduced him to the technology journalist Gina Smith, who asked how Apple was doing.
"You know, Gina, Apple is like a ship," Amelio answered.
"That ship is loaded with treasure, but there's a hole in the ship. And my job is to get everyone to row in the same direction."
Smith looked perplexed and asked, "Yeah, but what about the hole?"
From then on, Ellison and Jobs joked about the parable of the ship.
"When Larry relayed this story to me, we were in this sushi place, and I literally fell off my chair laughing," Jobs recalled.
"He was just such a buffoon, and he took himself so seriously.
He insisted that everyone call him Dr. Amelio. That's always a warning sign."