Apple turned 40-years-old on Friday but there’s one cofounder who you might not be aware of.
Ronald Wayne, an 81-year-old living in Nevada, was given 10% of Apple stock on the day Steve Jobs decided to start the company with Steve Wozniak. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak divided the other 90% evenly between them.
But Wayne left the Apple, founded in his flat in Mountain View, 12 days after it was founded for financial reasons, as stated in this personal essay by Wayne on Facebook.
Wayne was reportedly brought in on the deal in the first place to be “the voice of reason in any disputes” between Jobs and Wozniak, according to an in-depth profile of Wayne published on the BBC on Friday.
Wayne told the BBC that he took his name off the contract “for very excellent reasons that are still sound to me today.”
The main reason was that Wayne, 41 at the time, felt uneasy about Apple’s first major deal, which was to supply 50 machines to a small computer chain called the Byte Shop. In order to deliver on the deal, which had an unknown price tag, Apple had to borrow $15,000 (£10,490).
According to the BBC, Wayne had heard that Byte didn’t have a good reputation for paying its bills and he thought he was going to be more financially exposed than Jobs and Wozniak, who “didn’t have two nickels to rub together.”
Wayne added: “I had a house, and a bank account, and a car … I was reachable!”
Wayne received $800 (£559) when he gave up his 10% stake, as well as an $1,500 (£1,049) when he received a letter from Apple several “months” later offering him the extra money if he agreed to sign away every possible interest with the “Apple Computer Company.”
Apple is now worth $600 billion (£420 million), meaning a 10% share would be worth $60 billion (£42 billion).
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