Before Tim Cook there was Del Yocam. He was Apple’s first Chief Operating Officer, the role held by Mr. Cook prior to becoming CEO.  In a fascinating interview with Cult of Mac, he discussed mentoring Steve Jobs and Apple’s early days.

He also served as an early mentor to Steve Jobs, the young Apple co-founder who sometimes seemed out of his depth in 1979. “When I first got to know him, he was lost,” Yocam told Cult of Mac. “He was no longer involved in the Apple II and no one wanted him around, especially management. He didn’t care about money at that time. He was like an orphan, living away from home.” In many ways, Yocam was the proto-Tim Cook, a manufacturing and operations specialist who helped transform a dysfunctional startup into a massive, moneymaking leader of the early PC industry. He also helped take the rapidly growing company international.

Check It Out: Original COO Talks Steve Jobs and Apple’s Early Days

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