Julian Robertson, a Wall Street moneyman who has agglomerated billions from his hedge-fund investments, has sold all of his stock in Apple Inc., not because he necessarily believes shoveling his spondulicks towards Cupertino is a bad bet, but because he has come to the conclusion that Steve Jobs was a "really awful" person.
"The stock was a good one for me," Robertson told CNBC's Closing Bell. "We'll let somebody else make the money from now on."
Robertson had his disinvestment epiphany when he read an unnamed biography of the Apple cofounder – we're betting on Walter Isaacson's mega-popular Steve Jobs – and discovered what the rest of the world has known for some time: Jobs was not exactly a Teletubby to his Cupertinian cohort.
"I read the book," he said. "I read it, and I came to the conclusion that it was unlikely that a man as really awful as I think that Steve Jobs was could possibly create a great company for the long term."
His mere distaste for Jobs is not the main reason for his divestment of his Apple shares. In fact, if Jobs were still around – he died two years ago last Saturday – Robertson would forgive his faults and stay invested in the iDevice maker.
"I think if he were still there, I'd still be in it," Robertson said of his investment in Apple. "I think he's one of the great geniuses of the world."
From Robertson's point of view, however, an executive with as high a jerk quotient as Jobs is not capable of building a company that could survive him. "He's not the kind of guy I think that would develop a long-standing company," the market man said.
"How can you create a great organization of people and be that mean a person?"
Robertson was not asked by his Closing Bell interlocutor about the shining examples of sweetness, light, and selfless altruism exhibited by the typical financial titan – such as, oh, to pick one example completely at random, a hedge-fund investor. ®