Apple Wiki
Apple Wiki
Thomas M

Dr. Thomas Whitney

Dr. Thomas M. "Tom" Whitney (January 7, 1939 - November 1986) was an early executive at Apple Computer.


Whitney received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Iowa State University in 1961, 1962, and 1964, respectively.[1]


In 1967, Whitney joined Hewlett-Packard, where he led a team that developed the HP-35, the world’s first handheld electronic scientific calculator.[1]

Apple Computer[]

Wendell Sander, a classmate from Iowa State, recommended Whitney to the newly incorporated Apple Computer. In the summer of 1977, Whitney and Sander were hired as employees #15 and #16, respectively, and worked on the Apple II series. Whitney became Executive Vice President of Engineering and focused on recruiting while Sander began designing the Apple III. Whitney was also involved in the early stages of the Lisa project.[2][3][4] However, Sanders was provided specifications defined by a committee and given only 10 months to implement the Apple III project. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs oversaw details of the design, and insisted on omitting the cooling fan because it would have been "too noisy and inelegant". Sander stated that the Apple III had been rushed to market 6 to 9 months too early, and many Apple III units began overheating and malfunctioning. Whitney was ousted after returning from a business trip in 1980 and resigned from Apple in April 1981. He was succeeded by Wil Houde. Sander also left the company in 1982.[5][6]

After Apple[]

Whitney became an entrepreneur in 1981 and launched several companies in the Silicon Valley area. He died of cancer in 1986 and was survived by his wife Donna and a son, also named Tom. Donna is president of the Thomas and Donna Whitney Education Foundation.[1][7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Thomas M. Whitney, Iowa State University. Accessed 2020-06-15.
  2. Who were the first 25 employees at Apple? by Sean Owczarek, Quora. 2012-09-24.
  3. Father and son engineers reflect on past, working together at Apple by Willa Colville, Iowa State Daily. 2017-11-12.
  4. Atkinson, Bill (1978-04). Joining Apple Computer.
  5. Apple III Chaos: Apple’s First Failure, Low End Mac. 2015-04-28.
  6. Business people; Shift at Apple Computer, The New York Times. 1981-04-23.
  7. Donna Whitney 2009, Iowa State University Alumni Association. Archived 2009-05-15.

See also[]

External links[]


Utility stub shuffle This article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.