The €17bn loser who sold slice of Apple business for just €1,200
Published 24/04/2010 | 05:00
IT ranks among the worst business moves ever. In 1976 Ronald Wayne decided to pull out of his friends' computer company after two weeks, fearing he could be saddled with debts if it failed.
After drawing up the original contract for the firm and designing its logo, he withdrew his 10pc stake and walked away with €1,200. But speaking from his home in a remote desert town near Death Valley, Nevada, the little known third founder of the electronics giant Apple said he had no regrets.
Mr Wayne (75) relinquished a stake that would now be worth around €17bn. He lives on a state pension and deals in old stamps and coins to supplement his income.
His two former friends, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, have joined the ranks of the super-rich. Mr Jobs is still chairman and CEO of Apple.
Mr Wayne met the technology boss while working at the Atari computer company in California before drawing up a deal.
He said Mr Jobs asked him to take 10pc and chose him because they believed he would be "balanced and reasonable".
But within two weeks, Mr Wayne decided to give up his share.
His anxieties stemmed from a previous failed business after which it took him two years to pay back his creditors. "I will be just a footnote in history because I happened to have known someone," said Mr Wayne. (© Daily Telegraph, London)