|2nd CEO of Apple Inc.|
March 1981 – April 7, 1983
|Preceded by||Michael Scott|
|Succeeded by||John Sculley|
Armas Clifford Markkula Jr.
February 11, 1942
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Southern California|
Armas Clifford "Mike" Markkula Jr. (//; born February 11, 1942) is an American electrical engineer, businessman and investor. He was an angel investor and the second CEO of Apple Computer, Inc., providing critical early funding and managerial support.
Markkula was introduced to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak when they were looking for funding to manufacture the Apple II personal computer they had developed, after having sold some units of the first version of this computer, the Apple I. With his guidance and funding, Apple ceased to be a partnership and was incorporated as a company.
Markkula's great-grandfather, Isak Ferdinand Markkula, was born in Sievi, Finland. He and his wife moved to the United States in either 1865 or 1883, depending on the source. Mike Markkula's first name Armas and last name Markkula are traditional Finnish names. His first name Armas means "dear" or "beloved" in the Finnish language.
He was lured out of retirement by Steve Jobs, who was referred to him by Regis McKenna and venture capitalist Don Valentine. Valentine—who after meeting the young, unkempt Jobs asked McKenna, "Why did you send me this renegade from the human race?"—was not interested in funding Apple, but mentioned Jobs' new company to Markkula. Jobs visited Markkula and convinced him of the market for the Apple II and for personal computers in general.
In 1977, Markkula brought his business expertise along with $250,000 (with $80,000 as an equity investment in the company and $170,000 as a loan) and became a one-third owner of Apple and employee number 3.
He helped the new company obtain credit and venture capital, brought in Michael Scott as the first president and CEO, then took the job himself from 1981 to 1983 despite having promised his wife that he would only stay at Apple for four years, and that he would retire by 1984.
Markkula served as chairman from 1985–97, when a new board was formed after Jobs returned to the company. As chairman he approved Jef Raskin's 1979 plan to start designing what would become the Macintosh, then prevented Jobs from killing the project in favor of his own Lisa.
In addition to providing what The New York Times later described as "adult supervision" to the younger Jobs and Wozniak, as a trained engineer Markkula also possessed technical skills. He wrote several early Apple II programs, served as a beta tester for Apple hardware and software, and wrote one of the first three programs available for the unsuccessful Apple III. Wozniak was motivated to design the Disk II floppy disk drive system after Markkula found that a checkbook-balancing program he had written loaded too slowly from a data cassette. Markkula retired from Apple after Jobs returned as interim CEO in 1996. He supported Jobs' 1997 return.
After he retired from Apple, he went on to work at Echelon Corporation, ACM Aviation, San Jose Jet Center and Rana Creek Habitat Restoration and to endow the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, where he chaired the board. Markkula was also on the board of trustees of Santa Clara University from 2003 to 2009.
Markkula was an investor in Crowd Technologies, a startup developing a web application called Piqqem that applies the wisdom of crowds to stock market predictions. He is an investor in Scotland-based LiveCode, Ltd.
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