May 1992

Jobs endorses Perot campaign

by Dan Lavin

San Francisco: NeXT CEO Steve Jobs has endorsed H. Ross Perot, a principal owner of NeXT Computer, in the Texas industrialist's campaign for president of the United States.

"Absolutely I endorse him," Jobs said in an interview at the recent DBExpo show here. He cited Perot's "belief in the worth of the common individual" as an important personal trait. In his DBExpo keynote, Jobs said, "Having known Ross for several years . . . he'd make an awesome president."

Relying on a populist message, Perot has pledged to run if volunteers get his name on the ballot in all 50 states, according to published reports. He will use his considerable fortune to fund the campaign himself.

Perot invested early in NeXT and was on the board of directors until he resigned (see "Perot leaves NeXT board," NeXTWORLD Extra, January 1992). Company officials conjectured that Perot resigned in preparation for his presidential bid.

Many NeXT developers and customers are joining Perot's campaign. Phil Fuster, a NeXT federal-marketing representative in Washington DC, is involved in the effort there, which may use NeXT machines to run the local campaign. Dan Goldman, a user at Argonne Labs, is volunteering in Chicago.

"In general, a tremendous number of computer people are involved in the Perot campaign, especially in the Santa Clara region," said Randy Freeman, vice-chairman of Perot's California campaign.

Perot was not available for comment on the fate of his NeXT shares in the event of his election. Presidents usually place their investments in a blind trust for the duration of their terms.

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