Best of 2000s: Steve Jobs Becomes Permanent CEO. In the late 1990s, Apple looked for a permanent CEO to replace Gil Amelio, who left the company in disarray in 1997. Gil had done at least one good thing: persuading Apple to buy Steve Jobs' Next Software. Along with Next, and many of its engineers, came Steve Jobs himself, returning to the company that he originally co-founded. After Gil left, the Apple board named Steve Jobs as the interim CEO. During the 2-½ year search for a permanent CEO, Steve was paid a token $1 a year in salary.
Also during those 2-½ years, Apple did a complete turnaround, based largely on Steve Jobs and new Apple products like the iMac and iBook.
During the 2000 Macworld event in San Francisco, Steve Jobs announced that he was taking the reins of Apple once again, as the full-time CEO, dropping the 'interim' portion of his job title. Steve joked that his new title would be iCEO, due to the huge success of the iMac, iBook, and other products.