Ending a brief mystery he created, cofounder Steve Jobs disclosed in an interview that he sold 1.5 million shares of Apple Computer stock two months ago because he had lost faith in the company.
"Yes, I pretty much had given up hope that the Apple board was going to do anything," Jobs said in an interview with Time magazine in editions to hit the stands this week. "I didn't think the stock was going up."
The shares were trading around $15 each when he sold them in June for about $22 million. They are now trading more than 10 points higher, following the $150 million investment by Microsoft and other business alliances announced last week at Macworld Expo in Boston.
Jobs had acquired the stock when Apple bought Next Software, another company he founded, late last year to develop a new Mac operating system code-named Rhapsody. Speculation that he had sold the securities rose when Apple reported that an undisclosed investor had sold 1.5 million shares--exactly the amount Jobs was granted in the Next merger. (See related story)
But Apple and its cofounder had remained silent on the seller's identity until the Time interview. Jobs said he now holds one share in the company as a new board member.
"If that upsets employees, I'm perfectly happy to go home to Pixar," he said, referring to the animation studio he still runs. Pixar produced the blockbuster hit Toy Story.