Bill Gates: Steve Jobs Is 'Fantastic,' 'Saved The Company' (VIDEO)

During CNBC's TV special featuring Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, Microsoft's Gates had warm words for Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

According to CNBC, a Columbia Executive Business School student asked this question:

If you could just comment and tell us what your thoughts are on the job Steve Jobs has done as the CEO of Apple? (Audience laughs as Gates smiles.)

Gates' response, CNBC reports:

GATES: Well, he's done a fantastic job. Apple is in a bit of a different business where they make hardware and software together. But when Steve was coming back to Apple, which was actually through an acquisition of NeXT that he ran, Apple was in very tough shape.

In fact, most likely it wasn't going to survive. And he brought in a team, he brought in inspiration about great products and design that's made Apple back into being an incredible force in doing good things. And it's great to have competitors like that. We write software for Apple, Microsoft does. They compete with Apple. But he, of all the leaders in the industry that I've worked with, he showed more inspiration and he saved the company.

Watch Gates' answer in the video clip below.