Steve Wozniak’s net worth: The Apple cofounder’s wealth in 2024

Who is Steve “Woz” Wozniak?

Steve Wozniak — the creative and technical genius behind Apple’s early success — is the late Steve Jobs’ somewhat lesser-known counterpart. The two founded Apple together back in 1976 along with business partner Ronald Wayne (who held a 10% stake in the company for about 12 days before selling it back to the duo for $800).

Almost half a century later, Wozniak is the only one of the three who still works for the prominent tech company — at least according to his LinkedIn profile. In reality, his role with Apple in the modern day is only a ceremonial one. His job title is “Fellow,” and when speaking to the Mercury News in 2020, he said he only takes home around $50 a week from the company. Nevertheless, in 2018 he stated, “I always sort of represent Apple when I make appearances or give interviews.”

Wozniak spoke at the commencement ceremonies of two of his alma matters — UC Berkely in 2023 (pictured here), and CU Boulder in 2024. 

Dana Jacobs/Getty Images

Nowadays, Woz spends his time making public appearances and giving speeches, including the May 2024 commencement address at CU Boulder, a university from which he was expelled in 1969 for hacking the institution’s computer system in order to send prank messages. He also works on an array of passion projects (like his satellite data company Privateer) and serves as a panelist/judge/investor on the startup-funding reality TV show, “Unicorn Hunters.”

So, after all these decades, what is the legendary engineer and Apple founder worth — and what could he have been worth had he held onto his Apple shares?

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What is Steve Wozniak’s net worth?

Most sources, including Business Insider, NDTV, and Money Control, place Wozniak’s net worth at $140 million.

Celebrity Net Worth, a popular but dubious website that hosts regularly updated (albeit rarely sourced) net worth pages for virtually every well-known public figure, pegs Woz’s net worth substantially lower at only $10 million.

Regardless of which figure is closer to the real number, one thing is for sure — Wozniak would be much, much richer had he held onto his Apple shares longer. Here’s what he could have been worth if he had kept his shares:

What would Wozniak’s Apple shares be worth today if he hadn’t sold them?

Before Apple went public at the end of 1980, Wozniak reportedly owned about 8.7% of the company’s stock. Since CEO Jobs refused to grant employees stock options prior to the IPO, Wozniak took it upon himself to give some of his own equity to his colleagues before the stock went public.

When the IPO occurred, Woz’s stake in the company was about 7%, or about 3.989 million shares, which would have been worth about $87,758,000 at Apple’s IPO share price of $22.

By early 1985, Woz left the company for good and sold most of his stock, stating that it had “been going in the wrong direction for the last five years.”

A 7% stake in Apple in January 1985, when it was trading at around $29 per share, would have been worth about $115,681,000, so that’s probably around what Woz was worth after his departure from the company.

Fast-forward almost 40 years to May 2024, and a 7% stake in Apple would be worth $203.7 billion. Had he held onto his 1980 stake in Apple, this amount would make Wozniak the second-richest person in the world after Bernard Arnault — richer than Bezos, Musk, or Zuckerberg.

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Wozniak’s career with Apple

Apple may have been Jobs’ company, but its early products were, in terms of design and engineering, 100% the work of Steve Wozniak. Jobs may have been the face of the brand, but Woz was its inventor.

By the time the two formed the company on April Fool’s Day in 1976, Wozniak had completed the design for what would become the Apple I computer, having already pitched it to HP (where he worked at the time) only to be shot down on multiple occasions.

The company received funding from an Intel employee, who requested that Woz quit his job at HP to work at Apple full time. The two Steves assembled Apple I boards at Jobs’ parents’ house and sold their first batch of 50 to a local computer shop.

The Apple I, however, was just a board — it didn’t come with housing, a power supply, or a display, all of which needed to be incorporated by the user. For this reason, the device had limited appeal outside of computer hobbyist circles.

The Apple II computer included a keyboard and could display color graphics on an attached monitor. 

Rama & Musée Bolo, CC-BY-SA-2.0-FR via Wikimedia Commons

Next, Woz designed the Apple II, a more complete machine that included housing, a keyboard, a built-in programming language, and the ability to produce color graphics. The Apple II is considered by many to be the first real personal computer, and its widespread appeal helped push Apple into the mainstream, paving the way for its successful 1980 IPO.

Not after the company went public, however, Wozniak crashed an airplane and suffered physical injuries and a period of anterograde amnesia, forcing him to step back from his work with Apple. During this sabbatical, he returned to school at UC Berkeley and helped put together a technology-themed music festival.

In 1983, Wozniak returned to work at Apple but soon grew disillusioned with Steve Jobs’ increasingly disrespectful attitude toward the Apple II despite the fact that it had made the company profitable and provided the bulk of its income. In 1985, Woz left Apple for good to pursue other ventures, selling the bulk of his stock when he did so.

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