Sir Michael Jonathan Moritz KBE (born 12 September 1954) is a Welsh-born venture capitalist with Sequoia Capital in Menlo Park, California in Silicon Valley, a philanthropist and author of the first history of Apple Inc., The Little Kingdom and of “Going for Broke: Lee Iacocca’s Battle to Save Chrysler” Previously, Moritz was a staff writer at Time magazine and a member of the board of directors of Google. He studied at the University of Oxford and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and went on to found Technologic Partners before becoming a venture capitalist in the 1980s. Moritz was named as the No. 1 venture capitalist on the Forbes Midas List in 2006 and 2007.
Early life and education
Moritz was born to a Jewish family in Cardiff, Wales. He was educated at Howardian High School in Cardiff before moving on to Christ Church, Oxford, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in history. In 1978, he received a Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania as a Thouron Scholar.
Moritz first worked for many years as a journalist. When he was a reporter for Time magazine, Steve Jobs contracted him in the early 1980s to document the development of the Mac for a book he was writing about Apple. According to Andy Hertzfeld, Jobs stated that “Mike’s going to be our historian,” a comment made in response to the fact that a year earlier a history had been written about another computer company. As he was close in age to many on the development team, he seemed to be a good choice. By late 1982, Moritz was Time Magazine’s San Francisco Bureau Chief and working on the special Time Person of the Year issue. His work on that issue (which was initially supposed to be about Jobs) included a lengthy interview with Jobs’ high school girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan, in which she discussed the history of their child, Lisa. Moritz’s follow up interview with Jobs on the subject led to denial of paternity on his part. The issue also contained negative commentary on Jobs from other Apple employees. The special issue was later renamed Machine of the Year prior to publication, celebratedThe Computer and declared that, “it would have been possible to single out as Man of the Year one of the engineers or entrepreneurs who masterminded this technological revolution, but no one person has clearly dominated those turbulent events. More important, such a selection would obscure the main point. TIME’s Man of the Year for 1982, the greatest influence for good or evil, is not a man at all. It is a machine: the computer.” Jobs cut off all ties with Moritz after the issue was published and threatened to fire anyone who communicated with him. According to Hertzfeld, “some of us talked with Mike again surreptitiously, as he was putting the finishing touches on his book around the time of the Mac introduction” and the resulting text, The Little Kingdom: the Private Story of Apple Computer, “remains one of the best books about Apple Computer ever written.”