Brent Schlender, Fortune's well-sourced technology reporter, knew Jobs and was familiar with his thinking,
and in March he came out with a story detailing the mess.
"Apple Computer, Silicon Valley's paragon of dysfunctional management and fumbled techno-dreams, is back in crisis mode,
scrambling lugubriously in slow motion to deal with imploding sales,
a floundering technology strategy, and a hemorrhaging brand name," he wrote.
"To the Machiavellian eye, it looks as if Jobs, despite the lure of Hollywood -- lately he has been overseeing Pixar,
maker of Toy Story and other computer-animated films—might be scheming to take over Apple."
Once again Ellison publicly floated the idea of doing a hostile takeover and installing his "best friend" Jobs as CEO.
"Steve's the only one who can save Apple," he told reporters. "I'm ready to help him the minute he says the word."
Like the third time the boy cried wolf, Ellison's latest takeover musings didn't get much notice,
so later in the month he told Dan Gillmore of the San Jose Mercury News that
he was forming an investor group to raise $1 billion to buy a majority stake in Apple. (The company's market value was about $2.3 billion.)