Apple, unlike any other company in the world, has its identity tied to one individual: Steve Jobs.
And without question, Jobs was the driving force that turned Apple into the world’s most valuable tech company.
That’s why there have been two new movies on Jobs this year — a documentary and a biopic. That’s why there was another best-selling book on Jobs released this year.
But Jobs didn’t do it alone.
He always had a team of talented people helping him build Apple. Most of them have been forgotten, which is why we’ve gathered information on the first 10 employees at the company.
Apple’s first CEO, Michael Scott, gave us a bunch of color on the early days, and Steve Wozniak helped with a list of early employees, though it was based on his memory. We got our full list from another early employee.
The Apple employee numbers aren’t the order each person joined the company. When Scott came to Apple he had to give out numbers to each employee to make life easier for the payroll department.
10. Gary Martin was in charge of accounting
Martin thought Apple was going to flop, but joined the company anyway. He stayed at Apple until 1983. From Apple he jumped to Starstruck, a company working on space travel. For the next few decades he moved from one CFO position to another at a few companies.
9. Sherry Livingston was the right hand for Apple's first CEO
8. Chris Espinosa was working at Apple part-time in high school
Chris Espinosa joined Apple when he was 14, and still in high school. It looks like he’s still with the company today. On his personal blog he said he ended up as employee No. 8 because when CEO Michael “Scotty” Scott was giving out numbers, he was at school. He arrived late and ended up with the “wrong” number.
7. Michael "Scotty" Scott was the original CEO
6. Randy Wigginton ended up working for multiple important tech companies
5. Rod Holt was super important in the development of the Apple II
Holt was a highly regarded designer who was skeptical of joining Apple initially. But, in “Return To The Little Kingdom,” he says Steve Jobs “conned” him into taking the job. Holt helped develop the power supply for the Apple II. After six years at Apple, Holt says he was pushed out of the company by new management.
4. Bill Fernandez was the first employee after the two Steves
Bill Fernandez first met Steve Jobs at Cupertino Junior High School when Jobs was a new student. Fernandez was also a neighbor and friend of Steve Wozniak. When Jobs and Wozniak started Apple, they hired Fernandez as the first employee. He stayed with Apple until 1993, when he left to work at Ingres, a database company.
3. Mike Markkula was the moneyman
Markkula was as instrumental in developing Apple as either of the two Steves. He made an investment in Apple worth $250,000. In exchange for his investment, he took 30% of the company. He also helped manage the company, develop a business plan, hired the first CEO, and insisted Steve Wozniak join Apple. (At the time he was thinking about joining HP.)
Markkula was an early Intel employee and became a millionaire by the time he was 30 when the company went public. According to Return to the Little Kingdom, his investment in Apple was less than 10% of his total worth at the time.
He stayed at Apple until 1997, overseeing the ouster and return of Steve Jobs. When Jobs came back, Markkula left. He has since invested in a few startups and donated money to Santa Clara University, for the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.
2. Steve Jobs was given the No. 2 just to irk him
1. Steve Wozniak was the technical expert
BONUS: Ronald Wayne decided to sell his shares for $1,700
Ronald Wayne was an original partner in Apple with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, but decided the business wasn’t for him. He left. To make things official, Markkula bought out his stake in the company for $1,700 in 1977.
In 2012, Wayne wrote an essay on why he left Apple. It’s quite good: