Philippine businessman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala praises Steve Jobs “vision”
In a telephone interview with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the chairman of Globe Telecom Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (JAZA) credits Steve Jobs for “kick-starting a boom in mobile Internet in the Philippines”.
JAZA praised Jobs and his company Apple Inc. for “the singularity of their vision,” saying that the “personal attachment” consumers felt for the iPod, iPhone, and iPad was “crucial element” behind Apple’s success.
“Steve Jobs transformed an industry that was dominated by cost to focus it on design, and in the process made technology much more accessible,” Mr. Zobel, 51, said. “Even now, the iPad is becoming more and more of an industry standard in terms of how people access information.”
A co-founder of Apple Inc., Steve Jobs today passed away. Jobs was responsible for turning Apple into one of the most valuable and profitable companies today, and has been hailed as a visionary leader that left a mark on the technology industry.
In the interview, JAZA also profiled his longtime love affair with Apple products. He bought his first Mac in 1987, learning to use it while travelling “during my honeymoon”. The original line of Macintosh computers featured a handle on top made it relatively easy to carry around. The businessman has “since then… insisted on using Apple instead of other brands.”
While I disagree with JAZA—many Filipinos were going online with their Nokia smartphones long before Apple debuted the iPhone—I have encountered his family’s affinity for Apple products first hand. My dad was a former employee of Ayala Corp. Back in 1997 I accompanied him on a visit to JAZA’s father, retired Ayala chairman emeritus Jaime Zobel de Ayala (JZA).
On the office desk of JZA was a Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh. According to JZA, who was still the chairman of Ayala during that time, the $7,500 desktop PC was a gift from his two sons, JAZA and Fernando Zobel de Ayala. The computer remained off during my very brief encounter with the Ayala patriarch, as he explained that he wasn’t very tech-savvy compared to his offspring.
Globe Telecom is a joint venture between Ayala Corp. and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., with both companies owning 32% and 47% of the telco’s shares, respectively. As the Philippine’s oldest conglomerate, Ayala Corp. is also the owner of real estate firm Ayala Land Inc., and the Bank of the Philippine Islands.
Rico Mossesgeld is a Globe Tattoo brand ambassador.
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