Saturday, August 6, 2011

Ronald Wayne

Ronald Wayne founded Apple Computer with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, but soon gave up his share of the new company for a total of $2,300.

Wayne was born in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. He worked with Steve Jobs at Atari before he, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple Computer on April 1, 1976. Serving as the venture's "adult supervision", Wayne drew the first Apple logo, wrote the three men's original partnership agreement, and wrote the Apple I manual.

Wayne received a 10% stake in Apple but relinquished his stock for US$800 less than two weeks later, on 12 April 1976. Legally all members of a partnership are personally responsible for any debts incurred by any partner; unlike Jobs and Wozniak, 21 and 25, Wayne had personal assets that potential creditors could seize. The failure of a slot machine company he had started five years earlier also contributed to his decision to exit the partnership.

Later that year, venture capitalist Arthur Rock and Mike Markkula helped develop a business plan and convert the partnership to a corporation. Wayne received another check, for $1,500, for his agreement to forfeit any claims against the new company.

After Apple, Wayne resisted Jobs's attempts to recruit him back to Apple, remaining at Atari until 1978 when he joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and later a Salinas, California electronics company. He is retired and sells stamps, rare coins, and gold from his Pahrump, Nevada home, and has never owned an Apple product.

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