Apple is one of the largest tech companies in the world today. That status was cemented even more firmly as its valuation reached new heights at $2 trillion.
It won’t be where it is today though without the work of its co-founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs. Unfortunately, the late business magnate is no longer here to enjoy the fruits of his labor. Still, it would be interesting to see just how much Jobs’ own fortune would’ve grown to today had he been alive to see Apple’s current success.
Dying a Multibillionaire
The business magnate died a multibillionaire at the age of 56. He would’ve been 65 years old today.
At the time of his death, he had a net worth of $10.2 billion. What’s surprising though, is that the bulk of this wealth didn’t actually come from his stake in Apple, which was only worth $2 billion at the time.
Much of his fortune came from Disney. The billionaire reportedly owned around 138 million shares in the entertainment conglomerate. Jobs acquired this stake in Disney after it acquired Pixar in 2006.
Behind the Scenes Battle
So, why did Jobs, who was arguably the face of Apple itself, have so little invested in the tech giant? Well, it all boils down to him selling all but one share of his stake in the company in 1985.
Jobs faced off against then-Apple CEO John Sculley in a boardroom war that ended with Jobs leaving the company. At the time, he owned 20% of Apple but sold off almost all of it in the days that followed his resignation. He reportedly kept just one share so he can still receive the company’s annual report.
The co-founder eventually found his way back into Apple in the mid-90s and subsequently saved it from potential bankruptcy. He also got the chance to have equity in the company as well. He received 5.5 million new shares of Apple after negotiations with the board.
Now, Jobs’ shares have multiplied to 38.5 million after a stock split in 2014. Considering Apple’s current $450 stock price, the late billionaire’s shares would’ve been worth $17.325 billion today. Of course, that’s a conservative estimate as his shares also generate millions in dividends, which add up to a whopping $126.3 million a year.
There’s also his stake in Disney, which has now transferred to his widow Laurene Powell. His initial stake in the company has now grown to around $6.8 billion. It’s worth noting though that Powell parted with half of Jobs’ Disney shares in 2016.