‘Third founder’ Ron Wayne pulled out of Apple after 2 weeks; stake would be worth $23 billion today

“In 1976, Ronald Wayne decided to pull out of his friends’ computer company after two weeks, fearing he could be saddled with debts if it failed,” Nick Allen reports for The Telegraph.

“After drawing up the original contract for the firm and designing its logo [‘It was a terrible logo for the modern world and I knew that at the time’], he withdrew his 10 per cent stake and walked away with $1,500 (£975),” Allen reports. “Speaking from his home in a remote desert town near Death Valley, Nevada, the little known ‘third founder’ of electronics giant Apple said he has no regrets.”

“Mr Wayne, 75, relinquished a stake that would now be worth around £15 billion [US$23.07 billion] and lives on a state pension and deals in old stamps and coins to supplement his income,” Allen reports. “Meanwhile, his two former friends Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, joined the ranks of the super-rich. Jobs is still chairman and CEO with a personal fortune estimated at more than £3 billion [US$4.61 billion].”

“He met Jobs while working at Atari in California before drawing up an agreement which gave Jobs and Wozniak each a 45 per cent each of their new Apple computer venture,” Allen reports. “Mr Wayne said Jobs asked him to take 10 per cent so he could be a ‘tiebreaker’ between the other two if necessary. He was chosen because they believed he would be ‘balanced and reasonable.’ But within two weeks Mr Wayne wanted out and decided to give up his share.”

Allen reports, “He has remained in intermittent touch with his two former partners and last saw Jobs five years ago. Mr Wayne said: ‘He had a computer show and invited me. He paid the plane fare and I was VIP, front row. We met Woz and the three of us had lunch. I’m pleased for them. Whatever Steve Jobs has achieved he deserves it. He worked hard for it.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Ouch. Ron’s financial advisor’s intitials must have been L.G.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “MCCFR” for the heads up.]


  1. Reading the article It makes sense why he backed out, at time he was the only one with any assets and he would of been the one on the line if things did not work out.

    May of been one of the resins the Steves asked him in, probaly would have been very difficult for them to aquire a loan wihout him

  2. Hey, he was the one who abandoned the Steves. What exactly do they owe him?

    If he had remained with the company, who knows? He may have prevented the firing of Steve Jobs or the hiring of the Sugar Water Salesman. Hell, if he had remained he may have been instrumental in the early death of Microsoft.

    He screwed up the time, the bastard.

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