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Nominations closing in
In its 36 years, Apple has watched a lot of its employees walk out the door and into great success of their own.
In its 36 years, Apple has watched a lot of its employees walk out the door and into great success of their own. While some with Apple ties are already well-known, others may be surprising to find on the list.
All Slides: Stephen Sauer
As Apple battles a slew of Android-based competitors, it's ironic that the man behind Android, Andy Rubin, used to work for Apple. Interestingly enough, Apple even acknowledged in a court filing against HTC that Rubin contributed to an API patent at issue in the case while he worked at Apple.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff worked at Apple in 1984 and has said that the experience was where he "discovered it was possible for an entrepreneur to encourage revolutionary ideas." Benioff once claimed he gave Apple the right to the 'App Store' trademark in appreciation of the advice Steve Jobs gave him.
Loren Brichter designed and coded Tweetie, the Twitter app for Mac and iPhone that immediately set a new bar for what a Twitter client should be. Twitter acquired Tweetie in 2010 and made it the iPhone’s official Twitter app. Brichter contributed to the original iPhone’s interface in the mid-2000s.
Another person with somewhat surprising Apple roots is LinkedIn co-founder and former PayPal executive Reid Hoffman. Before launching LinkedIn with other PayPal refugees in 2002, Hoffman worked at Apple for nearly two years in the mid-1990s as a senior user experience architect.
Founded by Trip Hawkins in 1982, Electronic Arts (EA) is one of the largest purveyors of video games in the world. But before founding EA, and later 3DO and Digital Chocolate, he worked for Apple in the company's early days, where he served as director of strategy and marketing. He left in 1982.
Queen Raina of Jordan
A surprise entrant on the list is Queen Raina of Jordan. Known today for her tireless work advocating for children's rights, women's rights, and a number of education initiatives, Queen Raina moved to Jordan after receiving her business degree in 1991. There, she briefly held a marketing position at Apple's office in Amman, Jordan.
As the co-founder of Palm and later the CEO of Handspring, Dubinsky has had a strong hand in the success of the first modern PDAs, including the Palm Pilot and the Treo. Prior to that, Dubinsky, armed with a Harvard MBA, joined Apple in 1981, holding a number of different roles over the course of 10 years.
Before co-founding and becoming the CEO of the popular social network Path, Dave Morin was an early Facebook employee where he worked as a platform manager. And before that, Morin worked at Apple for two years in product and marketing.
A brilliant computer scientist, Schmidt is best known as Google's first CEO. Though it might seem strange now given Apple’s competition with Google, Schmidt served on Apple’s board for nearly three years before stepping down in 2009 due to growing ‘conflict of interest’ concerns.
Mike Matas helped found Push Pop Press (a company whose innovating publishing software won an Apple Design Award in 2011) which was acquired by Facebook in August 2011. But before that, Matas was a four-year Apple veteran who helped work on UI features for native apps on the the Mac, iPhone and iPad.
William (Bill) Campbell
Before becoming the CEO of Intuit, William (Bill) Campbell worked as Apple's vice president of marketing from the early 1980s through the mid-90s, while also heading up Apple's Claris software division. Campbell returned to Apple as a board member in 1997 (where he still serves) following the return of Steve Jobs.
Briefly in 2009, the Palm Pre was considered a legitimate iPhone contender. Spearheading development of the Palm Pre and its WebOS platform was former Apple executive Jon Rubinstein, who had previously helped oversee the development of the iPod and a number of Macs, including the original Bondi Blue iMac.
Gary Starkweather worked at Apple in the mid-90s, where he worked on color management technology and spearheaded the development of Apple's color management API, Colorsync. Much earlier in his career, Starkweather was credited with inventing the laser printer while an employee at Xerox in the late 1960s.
Leak, the man who invented QuickTime, worked at Apple for a few years before leaving to cofound WebTV, which was acquired by Microsoft in 1996. There, he and his team helped develop the first satellite-based DVR system. Afterward, Leak helped co-found Carrier, IQ where he also served as its CEO briefly.
Alan Kay is a famed computer scientist who did influential and groundbreaking work while employed at Xerox's famous Palo Alto Research Center. Kay worked as an Apple fellow from 1984 through 1997 and was held in high regard by Steve Jobs.
Tony Fadell's name often comes up as the founder of Nest Labs, the purveyor of intuitive, digital and learning thermostats. Before that, he was known as the father of the iPod, having risen through Apple’s ranks to become senior vice president of the iPod division.
Formerly a director of Research and Technology for Apple and the head of its Applesoft Division, Isaac Nassi left Apple in 1996. Today, he is an executive vice president and chief scientist at SAP AG.
A Google employee for seven years now, Andy Hertzfeld is most recently known as the lead designer of the Google Circles interface on Google+. Before that, many remember Hertzfeld as one of the integral software developers of the original Macintosh OS. He worked at Apple from 1979 through 1984.