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Bill Gates’ admission about Steve Jobs

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has reflected on his tech-rival the late Steve Jobs, saying people often try to emulate the negative side of the Apple founder's personality.

"It's really easy to imitate the bad parts of Steve at times, who at times could be an a**hole," he said during a candid interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria.

Gates was questioned about his own tough leadership style while at the helm of Microsoft, but the conversation quickly turned to Apple, with Jobs also being known for his taskmaster approach.

"I have yet to meet any person who in terms of picking talent, hyper-motivating that talent and having a sense of design, of 'this is good, this is not good.' So he brought some incredibly positive things along with that toughness," Gates said.

Apple was nearing bankruptcy with Jobs returned to the company in the 1990s.

It went on to become the first company in history to gain a market value of over $1 trillion.

Gates claimed Jobs was great at turning Apple's failures around by "casting spells" on his staff and tech observers.

He referred to himself as a 'minor wizard' who could see through Jobs's 'spells'.

"It was complete nonsense and yet he mesmerised those people," Gates said.

"Steve is really a singular case where the company was on a path to die and it goes and becomes the most valuable company in the world with some products that are really quite amazing. There aren't going to be many stories like that."

Steve Jobs died in 2011 due to complications with pancreatic cancer.

When the focus turned to Microsoft, Gates admitted things went "too far" in terms of the intense work culture.

"Yes, we were pretty tough on each other," Gates said. "We counted on each other to work very long hours and I always wanted to set the best example of that. I think that intensity, even though a little bit it went too far, was great for my 20s, 30s, 40s."