Apple’s Steve Jobs was singular in his ability to take a company “on a path to die” and turn it into the world’s most valuable — in part by “casting spells,” billionaire Bill Gates said.

Gates spoke of Jobs, the Apple Inc. co-founder and chief executive officer who died of pancreatic cancer in 2011, in a segment on leadership to be broadcast Sunday on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”

“I was like a minor wizard because he would be casting spells, and I would see people mesmerized, but because I’m a minor wizard, the spells don’t work on me,” said Gates, the world’s second-richest person, according to a transcript provided by the network.

“I have yet to meet any person who” could rival Jobs “in terms of picking talent, hyper-motivating that talent, and having a sense of design of, ‘Oh, this is good. This is not good,’ ” Gates added of his sometime collaborator and competitor.

Even when he failed, he succeeded, Gates said, citing the 1988 introduction of NeXT, the computer that “completely failed, it was such nonsense, and yet he mesmerized those people.” NeXT ceased making hardware five years later, and in 1996 it was bought by Apple.

Bloomberg