Meet Chris Espinosa, Apple's Longest-Serving Employee Who Joined The Company At 14
Meet Chris Espinosa, Apple's Longest-Serving Employee Who Joined The Company At 14
Chris Espinosa met Steve Jobs at a local personal computer shop.

Apple is the dream workplace for many, who aspire to make it big in the tech world. The company draws the best talent from around the world. Like all big things, Apple’s team also had a humble beginning. One of the first “talents” hired by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was Chris Espinosa who had been working with the US-based company since he was just 14. He formally joined the company in 1977 as a full-time employee. Chris Espinosa first met Steve Jobs at Byte Shop, the first personal computer retailer shop. He then went on to befriend Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs despite getting warned by his teachers at the Homestead High School, where they all had been students.

In an interview for Making the Macintosh, an online documentation project about the history of the Macintosh computer, Chris Espinosa described his early work with Apple. He said, “I worked there after school through high school. I wrote some of the early technical documentation for some products like ApplePlot, the graphics tablet.”

Chris Espinosa was retained as a staff at Apple even when he left to study at the University of California, Berkeley. He then became employee number 8 at the company. Chris told the Making the Macintosh project that he got the eighth number because Mike Scott, the first CEO of Apple, wanted to be number seven. The number one or two were either Steve Wozniak or Steve Jobs.

Mike Markkula, the first angel investor of Apple was employee number three. In the lore of Apple Inc., the first single-digit employees of the company have become the stuff of legends.

Chris Espinosa shared how despite the initial success Apple was running on a shoestring budget. He recalled that his first role included giving potential customers demonstrations of their products. “People had this misconception that at Apple Computer they could come and be greeted by a receptionist, and a sales representative might talk to them, and there would be a showroom where they could see machines. Instead, they’d walk into something that was a cross between the Bronx Zoo and the New York Stock Exchange,” he said.

Over the years, Chris Espinosa retained his position as a senior Apple employee despite the leadership changes. Today, he is 62 and still at Apple.

Chris Espinosa is a frequent speaker at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference and represents the company on various platforms. Actor Eddie Hassell portrayed him in the 2013 film, Jobs.

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