Looking in to the rear view mirror we just found out 15 years ago, Today ie On December 20, 1996 Apple announced that it would acquire NeXT. In $429 million deal Apple also bought CEO Steve Jobs back to the company he co-founded.

Apple shares worth $1.5 million went to Steve Jobs. He was deliberately not given cash for his part in the deal.

Here’s a video in which Steve Jobs interviewed just before returning to Apple.

The main purpose of the acquisition was to use NeXTSTEP as a foundation to replace the dated Mac OS instead of BeOS or the in-development Copland.

Jobs returned to Apple as a consultant in 1997 and then after the 4th of July weekend the same year became interim CEO. In 2000 Jobs took the CEO position as a permanent assignment.

Best part of the story is that Apple’s move of acquiring NeXT worked.