James Higa

Steve Jobs’ Right-Hand Man, James Higa, Has Broken His Silence

James Higa
Sean Levinson

There is still a lot of mystery surrounding the life of Steve Jobs, regardless of all the interviews and biographies that have come out in the past year.

However, the world will take a giant step forward in unraveling this mystery now that Steve Jobs former right-hand man has officially broken the silence as to his relationship with the Apple founder.

James Higa, a former Apple vice president who described his job as “special ops for Steve,” recently gave an interview to Lifestyles, a philanthropy magazine.

The interview is out now and can be viewed online, but don’t get too excited. Higa doesn’t really reveal much about his job or his boss.

“I’m a bit sensitive to people taking advantage of Steve’s death and their closeness to him,” Higa said.

The most interesting part of the interview is perhaps when Higa discusses how he got his job as Vice President and the type of responsibilities he had at Apple.

This Stanford University Political Science major who was working as a freelance photographer when he met Jobs was soon in charge of negotiating rights with music labels for the launch of the iTunes store.

Higa explained that there were “two things” that got him the job:

“One was an ability to be frank, honest, and able to go toe-to-toe with him on any question. The other was wide peripheral vision. He’s always wanted that in the people around him. The ability to connect dots is really important. A renaissance perspective on the world. Because it was always about the intersection of technology and liberal arts.”

Higa began working for Apple in the early-mid 1980’s while setting up business in Japan. He then joined Jobs’ second computer company, NeXT, in 1989, and ran the majority of their overseas operations until 1996 when Apple bought NeXT. The next time Higa returned to Apple would be 2001, the year that Jobs would invent the iPod.

Higa left Apple in July 2012 to become the executive director for the Philanthropic Ventures Foundation.

Sean Levinson | Elite.

Sean Levinson

Sean Levinson

Staff Writer

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