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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak reacts to $1 trillion milestone

Ethan Wolff-Mann
Senior Writer

Apple Inc. (AAPL) became the first publicly-traded U.S. company with a $1 trillion market cap, as its stock ticked up over $207.05 on Thursday, 42 years after its founding in Steve Jobs’s garage in Los Altos, Calif.

But its co-founder and initial computer science genius, Steve Wozniak, reached in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, took the news in stride.

Of course I’m proud of Apple, but I don’t measure the world by human simplifications like round numbers,” Wozniak told Yahoo Finance in an email. “A company is great because it is great.”

Wozniak, known as Woz, stepped away from his day-to-day role at Apple in 1985, but is technically still an employee who gets a check. (He has said it’s small.) In his varied career he created the first universal remote, helped found the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and had other entrepreneurial projects.

FILE – In this July 3, 2017, file photo, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak gestures as he attends a conference titled ‘The Innovation Summit’ in Milan, Italy. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)

For Wozniak, other moments in the company’s history hold far more cachet than Thursday’s crossing of the $1 trillion mark, but he says he has no favorite one.

“So many, even small and unnoticed steps meant a lot to me personally. But most would probably agree that Steve Jobs’s return was the key element, even though our valuation didn’t go up until the iPod,” he said.

When Apple first traded as a public company in 1980, a share cost $0.47 and the company’s market cap was $1.8 billion. In 1997, just before Jobs returned as CEO, Apple’s stock had been fluctuating, falling under $1.7 billion.

Wozniak took a moment to point to Apple’s data practices in the wake of increased public scrutiny over tech giants like Facebook’s and Google’s approaches to information collection on its users.

“We are a company based on great products, and we don’t have to invade your privacy to do it,” he said.

(David Foster, Oath)

Ethan Wolff-Mann is a writer at Yahoo Finance focusing on consumer issues, retail, and personal finance. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann.

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