Bill Gates says Steve Jobs could be both an 'asshole' and a wizard who cast 'magic spells' on people

Bill Gates says Steve Jobs could be both an 'asshole' and a wizard who cast 'magic spells' on people

Steve Jobs

Jeff Chiu/AP

Apple's cofounder Steve Jobs.

Bill Gates believes that Steve Jobs was a master of wizardry.

Speaking in a segment on leadership on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS," which aired Sunday, Gates said that Jobs "cast spells" and was able to "mesmerize" people.


"I was like a minor wizard because he would be casting spells, and I would see people mesmerized, but because I'm a minor wizard, the spells don't work on me," he said, according to Bloomberg.

Gates said there is no one else who can rival Jobs when it comes to picking and motivating talent. Jobs also managed to captivate people with products that ultimately failed, he added.

Gates used the 1988 NeXT computer invention as an example of this. "[It] completely failed, it was such nonsense, and yet he mesmerized those people," Gates reflected.


Tesla CEO Elon Musk seemed to agree with Gates. In a tweet on Sunday, Musk shared Bloomberg's story with the caption: "Cat is out of the bag."

Read more: Steve Jobs had a simple, harsh-sounding theory about what separates great leaders from all the rest

Jobs was known for being a harsh leader and over the years there have been several accounts detailing his rudeness to workers, business partners, and even family and friends. This behavior was also referenced in his daughter's memoirs.


But while Gates admitted he could be an "asshole" at times, "he brought some incredibly positive things along with that toughness," he said.

Without Jobs, the Apple that we know would not have existed today. He was credited with saving the company from bankruptcy in the late 1990s and setting it on a path to becoming a trillion dollar company. Jobs died in 2011 from pancreatic cancer.