As the sun sets on the Steve Jobs era, many are looking back to Apple’s founding days. And it’s impossible to look at Apple’s history without mentioning co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Wozniak and Jobs were high-school friends who formed Apple when they were 26 and 21, respectively. Wozniak left the company in 1987 but remains on its payroll. In April, Wozniak told Reuters that he would consider returning to Apple if asked, though he said that the company could probably afford to be a little more open.
A computer engineer by training, Wozniak has said that Jobs brought business sense and drive to the company that Wozniak just didn’t have. Woz, as he’s most often known, had the skills and the inventive spirit, but couldn’t match his partner’s passion for marketing and developing.
“He always wanted to be one of the important people and had a focus that there are very few people that drive the world forward.” Wozniak told the Post in 2010.
You can see Jobs’ natural salesmanship come through in this 2001 clip of him introducing the concept of the Apple Store:
In a Wednesday interview with Bloomberg, Wozniak reiterated his point, saying that Jobs is the “greatest technical leader of our time.” He said that he was surprised by the news and wished Jobs all the best. “I’m just hoping...that Steve will have a lot more time for his life,” he said.
Despite Jobs’ decision to step down as CEO, Wozniak said that he’s sure that Jobs will continue to monitor in his capacity as chairman as the company goes forward, and that his influence will remain with Apple.
“Company culture doesn’t change overnight,” he said. “The sort of products you make, how you make your decisions, the quality of the people working there doesn’t change overnight.
Because of Jobs’ strange history with Apple, namely his 1985 ouster as chairman, Jobs has already had some say in what he wants his legacy at Apple to be.
In a 1985 interview with Newsweek reposted today by The Daily Beast, Jobs responded with this answer when asked if he felt his company had been taken from him:
To me, Apple exists in the spirit of the people that work there, and the sort of philosophies and purpose by which they go about their business. So if Apple just becomes a place where computers are a commodity item and where the romance is gone, and where people forget that computers are the most incredible invention that man has ever invented, then I'll feel I have lost Apple. But if I'm a million miles away and all those people still feel those things and they're still working to make the next great personal computer, then I will feel that my genes are still in there.