A founding father of Silicon Valley, the legendary Rock dealt with his fair share of geniuses, including Intel’s founders. But in Jobs, he was faced with an eccentric, uncompromising control freak. Recalling those days for an oral-history project at the University of California, Berkeley, Rock said, “Steve Jobs was a problem; he was very headstrong, very much the enfant terrible… He upset people at the company and wanted to do his own thing, and wouldn’t tell people what he was doing—and yet he was one of the big stockholders. So finally, we had to take his position away from him, and then he left and formed his own company, which didn’t sit too well with what he wanted to do versus what Apple was doing.”
NOW: Even in his 80s, Rock remains a player in venture capital as principal of his firm, Arthur Rock & Co. In 2003, he gave $25 million to establish the Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School, where he earned his MBA in 1951. In 2009, The New York Times reported that Rock’s name appeared on the customer list of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities.