Bill Gates is a tech icon and the world’s second-wealthiest person. So, it’s hard to imagine the Microsoft co-founder being jealous of anyone.
However, as Gates reveals in a recent interview with the Armchair Expert podcast, the billionaire was envious of his one-time friend and rival Steve Jobs’ legendary charisma. In the interview, which was posted online on Thursday, Gates tells host Dax Shepard that Jobs was a “genius” who had a natural magnetism as a leader that Gates himself wishes he could have copied.
“He was such a wizard at over-motivating people — I was a minor wizard so I couldn’t fall under his spells — but I could see him casting the spells, and then I would look at people and see them mesmerized,” Gates says in the interview.
“I was so jealous.”
“Jobs was a genius,” Gates adds, noting that he was especially amazed at how Jobs — who co-founded Apple in 1976 but was forced out in 1985 after a power struggle with CEO John Sculley — was able to return to Apple in 1997, inspiring the company’s turnaround and a string of hit products that included the iMac, iPod and iPhone.
Gates calls Jobs’ second stint at Apple, which ended with his death from a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2011, “truly phenomenal.”
“And, there’s no chance in hell it happens without him. I mean, Apple was on its way to die [before Jobs returned],” Gates says in the interview.
He adds: “No one else can do what he did there. I couldn’t have done that [and] I don’t know anyone who could have.”