Starting Apple: Lives of the Pioneer Apple Employees Then and Now
A look back at what it was like for the original employees of one of the biggest technology companies in the world.
Often when you’re working on a project, you never know that you could be starting a worldwide technological revolution. That’s exactly what happened with Ronald Wayne, an early partner for Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak during Apple’s early days. Believing that Apple just wasn’t his thing back in 1977, he sold his company shares for a measly $1,700. Little did he know that he could have been part of one of the biggest companies in the world today.
Thankfully, most of the other pioneering Apple employees didn’t quite make the same mistake. Here’s a look at the 10 original Apple employees and where they are now.
The longest serving Apple employee, he joined the startup when he was 14 years old in 1976. He attended the same Homebrew Computer Club with Steve Jobs. He would work after school (causing him to be late), and would write software manuals as well as be a member of the design team. Still with Apple today, he often speaks at conferences and panel sessions.
He was the very first employee hired by Jobs and Wozniak, and met Jobs at Cupertino Junior High. After a while, he led the project on the user interface design for Apple. He left to work at database firm Ingres in 1993, and now has his own design company.
Integral to the development of the Apple II power supply, Red Holt was the VP for engineering back then. He was on the working team for Macintosh, but sadly left barely before it was released in 1984.
This man is now a worldwide inspiration, but it’s hard to believe the founder was actually ousted from Apple in 1985. Steve Jobs became CEO later on, though, and remains to be one of the most influential people who ever lived, saying, “The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” And he certainly did.
A startup company no doubt has piles and piles of initially disorganized paperwork that badly needs help, and Sherry Livingston came to the rescue. She was the first secretary at Apple and was hired by Michael Scott. Now a happy grandmother, she surely earned her time off after those hectic yet epic days.
Every venture needs enough capital to succeed, and Mike helped Apple get started on its feet with his investment worth $250,000. He developed a business plan for the company and stayed with the firm until 1997. He was indeed Apple’s savior at the time, and he now continues to invest in numerous endeavors, including the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.
For someone who initially thought the company was going under, he definitely stayed for a number of years until 1983. Gary Martin did the accounting for Apple, and is now the Chief Financial Officer for another technology company called LeoNovus.
Scott was the first CEO of Apple and was recruited by Mike Markkula to organize the firm due to his business acumen. Sadly, he was removed from his position in 1981 after Apple had a companywide termination of employees, something that is now dubbed as “Black Wednesday.”
This first programmer for the company was soon tasked to rewrite BASIC for the Apple II. After leaving Apple in 1981, he continued to work for PayPal, eBay, Chegg, and even Google.
Both Wozniak and Jobs founded the now-iconic Apple brand that fateful day in April of 1976. Ever the technical expert, Steve Wozniak almost worked for HP back then. Luckily, he chose Apple instead, and because of what he did there, nothing was ever the same. “Everything we did,” he said, “we were setting the tone for the world.”