SLIDESHOW: Bizarre Habits of 9 Highly Obsessive CEOs
Steve Jobs, Former CEO of Apple
Under the leadership of Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) from 1997 to 2011, the company went from a PC also-ran to an international superbusiness on the back of beautiful, innovative products like the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. One of his first major hits was the iMac, an all-in-one desktop computer that came in vibrant colors like blue, green, and orange.
Know what else came in orange? Steve Jobs.
The Apple CEO was famously weird about his eating habits and once reportedly ate so many carrots in such a short time period that his skin turned a vibrant orange. He would often eat only one kind of food for weeks and lecture his friends and family about the virtues of his current diet, only to abandon it for another obsession shortly afterward. Jobs even claimed that his fruit-only diet made it necessary for him to bathe only once a week, a notion that may not have been shared by Apple employees.
By the end of his life, Jobs had even realized that refraining from food could induce periods of euphoria and would fast even when his ailing body required nutrition. His perfectionism may have created some of the most iconic product lines in the history of consumer goods, but it also made him an intense, demanding, and, well, orange person.
His strangeness didn’t stop with his diet, either. Jobs’ employees reported that he often demanded impossible amounts of work from them with little to no recognition of their physical or emotional limitations, simply refusing to take “I can’t do that” for an answer. To be fair, he never balked at that kind of work himself, often staying up for entire days at a time coding. Jobs even worked himself literally into the ground, leaving four years' worth of product plans to Apple when he died in October of 2011.
Crazy or not, Jobs’ approach worked. Upon hearing that Bill Gates had remarked that Apple’s business model only worked because it had Steve Jobs, Jobs snapped that Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) model only worked because it “[didn’t] mind making crappy products.”