The Apple co-founder who sold his 10% share for $800

Ronald Wayne co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in 1976 but sold his 10% stake in the company for a mere $800.

On 1 April 1976, Wayne partnered with Wozniak and Jobs and provided administrative oversight and documentation for the new venture.

Soon after the company was formed, Wayne sold his 10% stake in the newly formed Apple back to Jobs and Wozniak for US$800.

One year later, he accepted a final US$1,500 to forfeit any potential future claims against the newly incorporated Apple.

After Wayne’s departure, Jobs owned 65.4% of the newly registered Apple Computer Company, and Wozniak owned 34.6%.

If he held on to his 10% stake in Apple, it would have been worth around $270 billion based on Apple’s current market cap of $2.71 trillion.

It may seem like the type of decision which would crush any electronics industry businessman, but Wayne is not downbeat about his decision.

He does not regret selling his share of the company, as he made the best decision with the information available to me at the time.

He originally believed that Apple would be successful, but at the same time, there would be significant bumps along the way, which he was not prepared to risk.

Wayne was also more interested in slot machines, which he described as his passion, which was not even a consideration for Jobs and Wozniak.

“The last thing I wanted to do was spend the next 20 years of my life shuffling papers in a large backroom office,” he said.

He added that he had already had a rather unfortunate business experience before. “I was getting too old, and those two were whirlwinds.”

He described working with Wozniak and Jobs as having a tiger by the tail. “I couldn’t keep up with these guys,” he said.

“If I had stayed with Apple, I probably would have wound up the richest man in the cemetery,” Wayne said.

Apple Computer Company Partnership Agreement


Top JSE indices