Woz says he’d consider returning to active role at Apple

“Steve Wozniak would consider returning to an active role at Apple, the company he co-founded, and believes the consumer electronics giant could afford to be more open than it is,” Georgina Prodhan reports for Reuters.

“‘I’d consider it, yeah,’ the 60-year-old computer engineer said in an interview, when asked whether he would play a more active role if asked,” Prodhan reports. “He founded Apple Computer in 1976 with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne, and built the Apple I and Apple II computers that helped revolutionize personal computing… Wozniak, a lifelong hands-on engineer, said he liked technology to be relatively open so that he could ‘get in there and add my own touches.’ ‘My thinking is that Apple could be more open and not lose sales,’ said Wozniak, but added: ‘I’m sure they’re making the right decisions for the right reasons for Apple.'”

Prodhan reports, “Wozniak, who was in the English seaside town of Brighton for a computer server conference and to present a software developer award, stopped working for Apple in 1987 but is still on the payroll… ‘There’s just an awful lot I know about Apple products and competing products that has some relevance, some meaning. They’re my own feelings, though,’ said Wozniak, who is currently chief scientist of storage start-up Fusion-io.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: At the very least, who wouldn’t love to see Woz onstage as part of Apple’s keynote cast?


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


      1. Agreed.

        I can almost see it, his first keynote where the lights dim and Woz comes on the stage on his Segway. As he floats across the stage, smiling and waving at the crowd, he drives it off the stage. OMG, such a Woz thing. Can’t you see it?

  1. Woz represents the tech side but not the design side of early Apple. His aesthetics are more in line with tech and engineering nerds who appreciate boxes like PC’s and so-called open phones like Android. All that is an anathema to Apple and their special take. As long as they take his advice with a grain of salt and realize Woz is no Jobs then that’s fine. A supportive role would be nice.

    Wozniak is a nice man but I always thought Jobs thought him a bit of an embarassment too. I’m not convinced Woz is actually fairly ordinary and lacks the ability to see clearly where the puck will be.

    1. Wrong. Remember what Steve Jobs said about design: It goes beyond the looks. It’s the product itself.

      Woz is a brilliant designer. He has the main thing a designer must: Making technology human.

      The Apple I and Apple II are proof of Woz’s approach to design. He built a small and affordable computer for the masses. And he did it with a box of scraps. Before Woz, the only way to do what an Apple II could do was by having a room full of IBM refrigerators and paying tens of thousands of dollars. If you tell me that’s not good design, then you don’t know what design means.

      He’s also a good speaker. Woz is a very likable person. He’s an icon of innovation. And he knows technology, is passionate and loves Apple.

      Granted, he lacks of a lot of trades Steve Jobs has. I wouldn’t make him CEO. As a matter of fact he’d reject being CEO. He wants to be an engineer forever. But if you’ve not read iWoz, you will not understand his view of engineering. It’s pure design.

      Woz is a genius. I mean IS. Not WAS.

  2. Woz, definately, but as part of the PR team. Sure he has a lot to offer, but the audience has changed and what he wants is not what’s best for Apple.

    But he could have things like the Woz edition of the same products which are more dig in and modify, just because you can. They wouldn’t be retail items but geekiest specials, limited editions. Woz can add a lot of ethos to Apple. But I wouldn’t give him the keys to the castle.

    1. Absolutely, this is what I was going to say. He’d be great in the scoble sort of role. He contributed enough to the company in the early years that if he wants a job, he should get one. Give him a mid 6 figure income or whatever he reasonably wants and feed him the PR he needs to represent Apple well in public.

      He’d be a great developer evangelist, or app-developer ombudsman or something like that.

      He’s mostly a celebrity, he’s going to be running around all the time anyway, and I don’t think he or Apple need him for a committed 60-hour-a-week gig.

      He’d also take some of the focus off of Steve Jobs, so it would have been good if they’d done this a couple years ago.

      1. Comparing Woz to Scoble is a grievous insult. Woz is a brilliant engineer who designed masterpieces like the Apple ][ disk controller. He was instrumental in Apple’s early lead in the personal computer industry.

        Scoble is nothing but a loudmouth fratboy in love with the sound of his own voice, who gained notoriety as a shill for the world’s biggest technology retardation organization.

      2. I think Apple can afford to pay him a million bucks a year to evangelize new releases or hype up existing releases. Someone has to be the public face of Apple. That someone should have a definable link to early Apple so the ties are obvious and people can make an emotional link with Apple. Selling these days is more than pushing anodyne products – they have to be wrapped up in emotional attachment. When Steve strides on stage at an Apple event he commands the attention of everyone from tech journalists to bloggers to the casual observer, through the keynote podcast. This set the tone for the masses to leap on to the next great product release, be it the iPhone, iPad or MacBook Air. Steve’s showmanship gave the product allure and something which no hardware technology company has, the imprimatur of the founder. Woz can carry the same role.

        If you think about it a circus is nothing more than a parade of performing animals but why did people pay to watch the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus back in the day. Because it was promoted as The Greatest Show on Earth. Steve’s keynotes is the Greatest Show on Earth and you need someone of his calibre to sell! sell! sell!

  3. I’m going to go out on a limb and say there is an opportunity here despite the concepts obliqueness.

    There is certainly something Woz could value add. IMHO- I;d have him be the interface between apple’s hardcore fan base and apple management/engineers. I kind of think he’d excel in such a consolatory role for product transitions and a filter for fast tracking the improving of new products.

    1. Agree; Apple’s existing engineers and designers might not find the common basis for collaboration. They are too apart, for now.

      But, as idea, the returning of Wozniak is interesting. Not that probable, though, even if Steven will return as PR department.

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