Julian Robertson sells Apple because Steve Jobs was 'mean'

Monday, 7 Oct 2013 | 1:28 PM ET
Julian Robertson: Why I dumped Apple
Monday, 7 Oct 2013 | 2:27 PM ET
Investing legend Julian Roberton shares his thoughts on Steve Jobs as a person and explains why he sold his shares of Apple.

Though billionaire Julian Robertson once considered Apple to be one of the world's greatest companies and a sound investment, the renowned hedge funder told CNBC on Monday he has dumped all shares because founder Steve Jobs was a "really awful" person.

Robertson came to the decision after reading a biography about the technology innovator, he said. Though the stock performed well for him, he decided to sell all his shares in January.

"We'll let somebody else make the money from now on," he said on "Closing Bell."

Julian Robertson
Frances M. Roberts | Getty Images
Julian Robertson

"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," Robertson said. "I just don't believe bad guys do well in the long run."

(Read more: How Apple has changed after Jobs)

For Robertson, Jobs' character is reason enough to doubt Apple's future success. "How can you create a great organization of people and be that mean a person?" he asked.

Still, he acknowledged Jobs' many inventions, including the iPhone and the iPad.

(Read more: Apple's iOS 7 leaves users swooning (literally))

"There's no question that—and I think if he were still there, I'd still be in it," Robertson said. "I think he's one of the great geniuses of the world. But he's not the kind of guy I think that would develop a long-standing company."

Saturday was the second anniversary of Jobs' death.

Elsewhere in the tech sector, Robertson praised the leadership of Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, adding that he owns shares of the Internet search giant.

Robertson said he doesn't have any plans to get in on Twitter's upcoming initial public offering.

"I don't tweet," he said. "I don't know how to tweet."

Meanwhile, Robertson said the broader market is "fully valued" and otherwise appears a little frothy.

"I think we're in the middle of a kind of bubble market, where it's going to take something bubble-like to happen to prick the bubble and will probably have a pretty bad reaction to the breaking of the bubble," Robertson said. It "probably will not [happen] right now, and somehow I think we'll wallow through the political and fiscal crisis we have in front of us and then we'll sort of see what happens," he added.

Asked about whom he'd like to see succeed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Robertson said he would not prefer Vice Chair Janet Yellen because he thinks she's "way too easy money."

—By CNBC's Drew Sandholm. Follow him on Twitter @DrewSandholm.

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