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Steve Wozniak: Jobs the 'best business leader of our time'

updated 09:35 pm EDT, Wed August 24, 2011

Woz chimes in on Jobs resignation from CEO

Apple's other co-founder, Steve Wozniak, offered early commentary in a Bloomberg phone interview on Wednesday night following the resignation of Steve Jobs. His lack of direct connection gave few insights as to the exact reasons for the timing of the departure, but he expected that Jobs would leave one of the largest legacies of recent memory. Jobs might try to guide the company, 'Woz' said, but won't necessarily have to for a lasting impact.

"He's probably going to be remembered for the next hundred years as the best business leader of our time," Woz said. "He will watch the company for a while, [and] hope it's on such a good track... for a company as large as Apple, corporate culture doesn't change overnight. The quality of the people doesn't change."

Explaining why Apple got to its current position, where it now has a larger market cap than Exxon, Woz speculated that political theory was guiding Jobs. He saw the exiting CEO as an Ayn Rand-style objectivist that created the world he wanted to live in. "Steve was very fast thinking and wanted to do things, [while] I wanted to build things," he commented. "I think Atlas Shrugged was one of his guides in life."

Apple's well-known secrecy, dictated by Jobs himself, was also considered criticial. It cut both ways and hurt those who needed or wanted openness, but it also let Apple avoid design products solely in reaction to someone else. "I'm totally behind it," he explained. "I like to have new products developed without being influenced by outsiders."

Woz was only truly active at Apple within its first several years and has the most insight on this early period. His engineering skill and experimentation have often been considered crucial to Apple at that stage by making real products where Steve Jobs was focused mostly on the business side. He remains a paid employee of Apple but is now more a symbol for the company with his own side projects. Both he and Jobs have remained friends.

by MacNN Staff



  1. LenE

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I can't figure out why it surprises me that Steve Jobs may have been guided by Ayne Rand. I guess I always saw the objectivists sitting more in the conservative-libertarian sector of political maps. If you look at what he has built through the combined hard work of Apple employees over the globe, I guess it is easy to see the connection. Especially in light of the current battles over IP copied by lazy firms.

    -- Len

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Libertarian is not conservative

    with all due respect, Libertarians are not conservative and I don't care if Ron Paul runs as a republican, the world is not conservative vs. liberal. Conservatives, liberals, libertarians and totalitarians all exist. It's just not a two sided coin.

    Ayn Rand guided a lot of people. I was a fan once. In retrospect, I've moved off of some of her ideas - but I think it's a good idea to read her work. It'll challenge one to think differently - frankly, there is nothing wrong with hard work and inventing the world you plan to live in.

  1. LenE

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I didn't mean to imply an equality between conservatives and libertarians. I was just referring to the quadrant of the map that most of her followers sit in. I am in agreement that it isn't about liberal vs. conservative. Her philosophy was generally about the struggle of achievers in a world of hanger-ons.

    -- Len

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Aym Rand accepted Medicare and Social Security

    Which she needed thanks to the cancer she contracted due to a lifetime of heavy smoking. So much for her philosophy of extreme personal responsibility.

  1. krabbie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    "He saw the exiting CEO as an Ayn Rand-style objectivist that created the world he wanted to live in." Ayn died horribly, alone, and broke. I hope Steve created a longer more cheerful and lifestyle than one of his mentors.

    Read more:

  1. facebook_Eric

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Aug 2011



    That old chestnut? (Emphasis on nut.) Ayn Rand was a self-absorbed cult leader without a shred of humanity in her philosophy. Irrational, self-important, narcissistic. No way Jobs modeled his life after any bozo from a Rand soap opera.

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