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.