The man who Steve Jobs invited to help him and pal Steve Wozniak found Apple Computer back in 1976 told the FOX Business Network Friday he "never imagined" the company he helped launch would be ousting the century-old AT&T (NYSE:T) from its longtime perch on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
In an exclusive interview, Ronald Wayne, who along with Jobs and Wozniak incorporated Apple April 2nd, 1976 in Cupertino, California, told FBN he was just trying back then to keep Wozniak and Jobs from getting into fights over how the company should grow and prosper, let alone aim for one of the highest honors on Wall Street.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) got the news Friday from the organization that places (and removes) companies from the Dow 30 that the gilded doors were opening for the tech giant.
"Apple is the clear choice for the Dow Jones Industrial Average," David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, told FBN.
"That's so intriguing," Wayne told FBN after being informed of the decision. Back in the '70's, the "three Apple Musketeers" weren't exactly walking around the office (Jobs' tiny home) with their chests puffed out thinking they would strike it big.
"I was brought in as for 'adult supervision'," Wayne joked. Wayne quickly whipped the company into basic shape, crafting the founding contract which today still bears his signature. He even designed the first Apple logo and wrote the manual for the first Apple computer.
But being a full 20 years older than "the two Steves," he eventually decided to leave the company and return to where he had first met Jobs: gaming pioneer Atari. Wayne left his 10% stake in Apple with Jobs and Wozniak in exchange for a couple of hundred dollars in remuneration. Had he kept his stake, its value would tip the scales at more than $70 billion today. However, the 80-year-old Wayne, who was fighting a cough during the FBN interview, has said he has no regrets. He doesn't covet Apple shares *or* Apple products.
"I've never owned an Apple product. Someone gave me an iPad a few years back, but my son needed to teach me how to use it," joked Wayne.