Here is the full quote in context from the program Warren Buffett and Bill Gates: Keeping America Great.
"Well, he's done a fantastic job," Gates said. "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."
He continued: "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."
Awww...how touching. [AppleInsider]