April 12, 1976: Ron Wayne, Apple’s Third Founder, Quits

by Chris Seibold Apr 12, 2011

When people first learn that Ron Wayne voluntarily renounced his ten percent stake of Apple Computer less than two weeks after officially acquiring said ownership they tend to think that Mr. Wayne must have been one of the most shortsighted individuals of all time. An easy conclusion to reach, after all, a 10% stake in Apple would have been worth 6+ billion dollars at the close of 2005.

What many people don't realize is that in choosing to leave Apple Mr. Wayne was taking a long-term view. As a full partner he would be liable for any debts Apple incurred. Owing to previous experiences that wasn't something he wanted any part of. So, when Steve started borrowing to fulfill Apple's order from the Byte Shop, Mr. Wayne became very concerned.

Ron Wayne's concerns grew great enough that he decided to stick with Atari and divest himself completely of Apple. For his share of Apple Computer Mr. Wayne received $800 (roughly 10% of Apple's profit from the Byte Shop order). It was April 12, 1976 when Mr. Wayne officially became the first former owner of Apple Computer.

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