Both are obsessive perfectionists. And both view shorts and jeans as business attire.
Mr. Clow, 62, and Mr. Jobs, 51, were both adopted and are very loyal to the parents who reared them. As an adult, Mr. Jobs tracked down his birth parents and eventually a sister; Mr. Clow said he has no interest in doing so. Mr. Jobs is a multibillionaire; Mr. Clow doesn't have quite that much money.
On a fundamental level, Mr. Clow said he and Mr. Jobs "don't share the same genius. But Steve recognizes that I'm really passionate about what I do and passionate about the Apple brand. So he trusts me to be part of the group that steers the brand. That's of great pride to me." (Mr. Jobs, through his public-relations department, declined to be interviewed for this story.)
When the men meet each week in Cupertino, Calif., to block and tackle the day-to-day marketing decisions, their volatile styles at times crescendo. Mr. Jobs is said to raise his voice and use salty words. Mr. Clow isn't exactly shy and retiring, at least when it comes to creating advertising.
For his part, Mr. Clow won't talk about the Apple sessions' particulars. "Steve's very protective of any conversation of how we do or what we do," said Mr. Clow. "He knows I care as much as he does and I'm willing to tell him what I think and he respects that." Mr. Clow respects Mr. Jobs as "the smartest guy I ever knew ... he seems to know how to get people to do great things."