Mike Markkula

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mike Markkula
2nd CEO of Apple Inc.
In office
March 1981 – April 7, 1983
Preceded by Michael Scott
Succeeded byJohn Sculley
Personal details
Armas Clifford Markkula Jr.[1]

(1942-02-11) February 11, 1942 (age 79)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.[1]
Alma materUniversity of Southern California

Armas Clifford "Mike" Markkula Jr. (/mɑːrˈklə/; born February 11, 1942)[1] 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.

Jeffrey Nordling portrayed him in the 1999 TNT film Pirates of Silicon Valley. Dermot Mulroney later portrayed him in the 2013 film Jobs.

Early life[edit]

Markkula's great-grandfather, Isak Ferdinand Markkula, was born in Sievi, Finland. He and his wife moved to the United States in either 1865[2] 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.[3]

Markkula earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California.[4]


He made millions on stock options he acquired as a marketing manager for Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel, able to retire at 32.[5]


He was lured out of retirement by Steve Jobs, who was referred to him by Regis McKenna and venture capitalist Don Valentine.[5] 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.[6] Jobs visited Markkula and convinced him of the market for the Apple II and for personal computers in general.[5]

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.[7]

Steve Wozniak, who designed the first two Apple computers, credits Markkula for the success of Apple more than himself.[8]

He helped the new company obtain credit and venture capital,[6] 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,[5] and that he would retire by 1984.[6]

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.[9]

In 1985, Markkula took John Sculley's side in a dispute with Jobs, causing the latter to leave the company; he would later help to force Sculley out in 1993.[5]

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.[5][10] Markkula retired from Apple after Jobs returned as interim CEO in 1996. He supported Jobs' 1997 return.

After Apple[edit]

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.[11]

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.[12]


  1. ^ a b c California Births, 1905 - 1995, Armas Clifford Markkula (Birth Date: 02/11/1942, County of Birth: Los Angeles)
  2. ^ Profile, kaleva.fi, April 7, 2007.(in Finnish)
  3. ^ Kielitoimiston sanakirja (2012). Kotimaisten kielten keskuksen julkaisuja 166. Helsinki: Kotimaisten kielten keskus ja Kielikone. Internetpalvelu. ISBN 978-952-5446-68-5. ISSN 2242-461X; ISSN-L 2242-461X.
  4. ^ "A.C. "Mike" Markkula Jr". Santa Clara University. Retrieved 2011-02-04.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Markoff, John (1997-09-01). "An 'Unknown' Co-Founder Leaves After 20 Years of Glory and Turmoil". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-04.
  6. ^ a b c "The Seeds of Success". Time. 1982-02-15. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved 2011-02-23.
  7. ^ Jessica Livingston, Founders at Work - Stories of Startups' Early Days, Interview with Steve Wozniak, pg. 56
  8. ^ Jason Zasky, "The Failure Interview: Apple Computer Co-Founder Steve Wozniak" Archived 2013-12-15 at the Wayback Machine, Failure Magazine, July 2000.
  9. ^ Andy Hertzfeld (March 1982). "And Another Thing..." Folklore.org. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27.
  10. ^ Coventry, Joshua (2013-10-06). "Apple III Chaos: Apple's First Failure". Low End Mac. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  11. ^ "A.C. "Mike" Markkula Jr."". Markula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  12. ^ Ranscombe, Peter (April 10, 2013). "LiveCode goes open source as RunRev raises £500,000". The Scotsman. Archived from the original on January 22, 2020. Retrieved 2020-01-21.

Further reading[edit]

  • Jeffrey Young, The Journey is the Reward, 1987 (Jeffrey Young's biography covering Steve Jobs' life until shortly after he founded NeXT computer company)

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Michael Scott
Apple CEO
Succeeded by
John Sculley
Preceded by
New title
Apple Chairman
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Steve Jobs
Apple Chairman
Succeeded by
John Sculley[1]
Preceded by
John Sculley
Apple Chairman
Succeeded by