Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Steve Jobs’s Lesson for Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg (Video)

Asa Mathat /

Tech moguls like Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Mark Zuckerberg run public companies that are essentially private fiefdoms — they’ve structured their corporate control so there’s no way that investors or board members can unseat them.

Thank Steve Jobs for that, says Larry Ellison.

The Oracle CEO, speaking at a D10 panel dedicated to the late Apple leader’s legacy, says the current generation of tech giants has taken notice of Jobs’s early career, when he was elbowed out of his own company in 1985. John Sculley, the Apple CEO Jobs had recruited from Pepsi and the Apple board, pushed Jobs out because he was “not politic,” Ellison said.

But that can’t happen to people like Zuckerberg, who controls more than half of his company’s voting shares, or to Page or Brin, who have similar control.

That’s no accident, Ellison argued. “Apple dismissing Steve Jobs in favor of a guy whose only track record was flavored water was such an incredible mistake,” he said.

For better or worse, you won’t see a repeat of that scenario at Google or Facebook.