Joanna Hoffman

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Joanna Hoffman
Born Joanna Karine Hoffman
(1955-07-27) July 27, 1955 (age 60)
Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Chicago
Known for Member of both the original Macintosh team and NeXT team
Spouse(s) Alain Rossmann

Joanna Karine Hoffman (born July 27, 1955)[1] is a marketing executive. She was one of the original members of both the Apple Computer Macintosh team and the NeXT team.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Hoffman is the daughter of the Polish Jewish film director Jerzy Hoffman and his Armenian ex-wife Marlene.[2][4] She has a background in anthropology, physics, and linguistics,[5] a Bachelor of Science in Humanities and Science from MIT, and pursued a doctorate (which she did not complete) in archaeology at the University of Chicago.[5]


She was on a leave of absence from the University of Chicago when she attended a lecture at Xerox PARC[6] and had "a heated discussion after the lecture" with Jef Raskin.[6] The discussion focused on "what computers should look like and how they should improve people's lives."[6] Raskin was so impressed with Hoffman, that he asked her to interview for a position at Apple.[6] She began on the Macintosh project in October 1980[7] as part of Raskin's initial team of Burrell Smith, Bud Tribble, and Brian Howard.[8] At the time she began, the Mac was "still a research project"[7] Her position "constituted the entire Macintosh marketing team for the first year and a half of the project."[5][7] She also wrote the "first draft of the Macintosh User Interface Guidelines."[7] Hoffman would eventually run the International Marketing Team which brought the Mac to Europe and Asia.[7] She later followed Steve Jobs to NeXT, as one of its original members.[2][3]

Hoffman had a reputation at both Apple and NeXT as one of the few who could successfully engage with Jobs. In both 1981 and 1982, she won a satirical award at Apple given to "the person who did the best job of standing up to" Jobs (Jobs was aware of the award and liked it).[2]

During the early 1990s, Hoffman was vice president of Marketing at General Magic, retiring in 1995 to spend more time with her family.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Hoffman is married to Alain Rossmann (who also worked at Apple).[6]

In media[edit]

British actress Kate Winslet portrayed Hoffman in the 2015 film, Steve Jobs (starring Michael Fassbender as Jobs).[9]


  1. ^ Joanna Hoffman public recordaccessed 11-7-2015
  2. ^ a b c d Isaacson, Walter. Steve Jobs. Simon & Schuster. p. ebook. 
  3. ^ a b Patton, Phil (1989-08-06). "Steve Jobs: Out for Revenge". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-09-07. 
  4. ^ Schulmmiller, Eric (2014-01-22). "Apple's Jewish History — 30 Years After Iconic Super Bowl Ad". The Forward. Retrieved 2015-09-07. 
  5. ^ a b c "The Wizards behind the Macintosh". Retrieved 2015-09-07. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Terdiman, Daniel (2009-01-22). "Recollections of the Mac's creators". CNET. Retrieved 2015-09-07. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Hertzfeld, Andy (2005). Revolution in the Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac was Made. O'Reilly Media. p. xxii. 
  8. ^ Hertzfeld, Andy (2005). Revolution in the Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac was Made. O'Reilly Media. p. xxiii. 
  9. ^ Labrecque, Jeff (June 22, 2015). "What Kate Winslet would tell her 19-year-old self today". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2015-06-24. 

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