Here’s what Steve Jobs might have been worth with Apple valued at $3 trillion

Apple on Monday became the first company to hit a market capitalization of $3 trillion — more than nine times what the company was worth when founder Steve Jobs died in 2011.

Unlike other legendary tech moguls like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, Jobs actually owned very little of Apple at the time of his death.

Instead, most of the fortune that Jobs passed onto his wife when he died of cancer in 2011 came from a stake of roughly 8 percent in Disney. Jobs acquired the shares when he sold the animation studio he co-founded, Pixar, to Disney in 2006. 

Based on Disney’s current value, Jobs’ stake would now be would now be worth nearly $22 billion. 

But in an alternate history, Jobs could have held onto a larger bite of Apple and ended up the richest man in the world.

Jobs owned about 11 percent of Apple when the company went public in 1980.

Five years later, he was pushed out of the company and angrily sold off all but one of his shares, saying he didn’t have faith in the company’s leadership. He kept the single share so that he could access investor reports. 

With Apple on Monday hitting capitalization of $3 trillion, an 11 percent stake in Apple would now be worth about $330 billion. That would put Jobs more than $100 billion ahead of the world’s current richest man, Elon Musk, who has a net worth of $298.7 billion — as well as Jeff Bezos, who has a net worth of $195.8, according to Forbes. 

Apple is now valued at $3 trillion — nearly 9 times what the company was worth when jobs passed away.
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Following more than a decade outside Apple, Jobs returned to the company as CEO in 1997. While he was given millions of shares worth in compensation, the technologist never recovered anything close to his original stake in the company.

During his second tenure as CEO, Jobs also got caught up in a stock options scandal. The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Apple of backdating — which involves illegally writing the wrong date on agreements to give employees stock options — in order to give Jobs and other executives better compensation packages and to dodge taxes.

Jobs and Apple ultimately settled a shareholder suit over the scandal for $14 million, while other executives paid smaller fines.

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