Well, sure, for a while there when Woz and Jobs and Bill and Dan and Randy had all left I was clearly the senior employee. But when Apple bought NeXT in 1997, two interesting things happened. When Apple acquires another company, HR sets the employees’ date of hire at Apple to their date of hire in the acquired company. So Steve’s start date at Apple would have been the date he founded NeXT, which was immediately after he resigned from Apple in 1985. But since that was within 6 months of when he left Apple, span of service credits him for his first eight years, and he ends up having a start date more or less coincident with the day of incorporation, January 17, 1977.
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