MANHATTAN — A 35-year-old contract creating Apple Computer Co. sold for $1.6 million in an auction at Sotheby’s Tuesday.
The three-page document, signed April 1, 1976 in California by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, was acquired by a phone bidder at a price far higher than the estimated pre-sale range of $100,000 to $150,000, Bloomberg reported.
Wayne and Jobs met back then while working at Atari Inc., and Jobs had Wayne enlist Wozniak, who was at Hewlett Packard Co. Wayne was rewarded with a 10 percent stake in Apple, which he relinquished 11 days later for $800. That stake would be worth about $36 billion today.
Wayne told Bloomberg in October that he left because he “felt like it was going to be something of a roller coaster,” and if he stayed he might have ended up “the richest man in the cemetery.”
In addition to the three-page contract, the Sotheby’s lot included papers that document Wayne’s departure.