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Steve Jobs’ brutal response to an employee who asked why Apple engineers aren’t paid more

Updated Jan 4th, 2016 2:43PM EST
Steve Jobs

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Life as a software engineer at Apple is pretty good, but the perks and salary provided by the company have long paled in comparison to some of the benefits that other tech companies like Google are famous for bestowing upon their employees. So while the pay as a software engineer at Apple is certainly nothing to scoff at, you won’t often find Apple atop of lists ranking which companies in Silicon Valley offer the most lucrative employment contracts.

Recently, Flipboard co-founder and former Apple engineer Evan Doll sent out a few tweets recalling a brief and somewhat classic story involving former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. According to Doll, he was once at an all-hands meeting in 2007 when a brave employee got up and asked why software engineers at Apple were underpaid.

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According to Doll, Jobs was quick with a “steely-eyed” response.

“Maybe you should ask your manager why they don’t think you’re worth more,” Jobs quickly countered.

Adding some more detail to the story, former Apple employee J Metz adds via Twitter that the back and forth occurred during a worldwide call celebrating the “internal launch of the first iPhone.”

As for what may have prompted Jobs’ response, Metz writes the following via Twitter.





Lastly, the impetus for Doll’s tweets was that he just recently received his settlement check from a highly publicized class-action lawsuit which alleged that Apple and a slew of other tech companies, including Google, Intel, Pixar, Adobe, Lucasfilm and Intuit, engaged in illegal anti-poaching agreements wherein the aforementioned companies each promised not to actively recruit employees from one another.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.