Joanna Hoffman

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Joanna Hoffman
Born Joanna Karine Hoffman
(1955-07-27) July 27, 1955 (age 60)
Alma mater University of Chicago
Known for Member of both the original Macintosh team and NeXT team
Spouse(s) Alain Rossmann
Children 2

Joanna Karine Hoffman (born July 27, 1955)[1] is one of the original members of both the Macintosh team and the NeXT team.[2][3][4]

Early life[edit]

Hoffman is the daughter of the Polish Jewish film director, Jerzy Hoffman and his former Armenian wife Marlene.[5][2] She has a background in anthropology, physics, and linguistics[6] and pursued a doctorate (which she did not complete) in archeology at the University of Chicago.[6]


She was on a leave of absence from the University of Chicago when she attended a lecture at Xerox PARC[7] and had "a heated discussion after the lecture" with Jef Raskin.[7] The discussion focused on "what computers should look like and how they should improve people's lives."[7] Raskin was so impressed with Hoffman, that he asked her to interview for a position at Apple.[7] She began on the Macintosh project in October 1980[8] as part of Raskin's initial team of Burrell Smith, Bud Tribble, and Brian Howard.[9] At the time she began, the Mac was "still a research project"[8] Her position "constituted the entire Macintosh marketing team for the first year and a half of the project."[8][6][10] She also wrote the "first draft of the Macintosh User Interface Guidelines."[8][10]Hoffman would eventually run the International Marketing Team which brought the Mac to Europe and Asia.[8] She later followed Steve Jobs to NeXT, as one of its original members.[2][3][4]

Hoffman had a reputation at both Apple and NeXT as one of the few who could successfully engage with Jobs.[3] 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.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Hoffman is married to Alain Rossmann (who also worked at Apple[11]) and has two children.[7][10]

Portrayal in media[edit]

Hoffman will be portrayed by Kate Winslet in the 2015 film, Steve Jobs, about the early days of the Apple legacy, in which Hoffman played an important role.[12]

Further reading and viewing[edit]


  1. ^ Joanna Hoffman public record accessed 7-18-2015
  2. ^ a b c d Isaacson, Walter. Steve Jobs. Simon & Schuster. p. ebook. 
  3. ^ a b c Watch Steve Jobs brainstorm with the NeXT team in this fascinating video
  5. ^ Apple's Jewish History — 30 Years After Iconic Super Bowl Ad
  6. ^ a b c The Wizards behind the Macintosh
  7. ^ a b c d e Recollections of the Mac's creators
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Hertzfeld, Andy (2005). Revolution in the Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac was Made. O'Reilly Media. p. xxiii. 
  10. ^ a b c The Original Macintosh
  11. ^ What's next for Apple?
  12. ^ Jeff Snider. "‘Predestination’ Star Sarah Snook to Join Michael Fassbender in ‘Steve Jobs’ Movie (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved January 23, 2015.