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Mossberg shares a
lighthearted moment on stage with Steve Jobs.
Photo: Joi Ito/Flickr CC

Walt Mossberg, the award-winning tech writer who was one of
Steve Jobs’ favorite journalists, is retiring.

Currently serving
as executive editor at The
Verge
and editor-at-large of Recode, Mossberg has
been one of the best-known names in tech writing since 1991,
when he started writing his “Personal Technology” column
for the Wall Street Journal.


Later in
his career, Mossberg became a podcaster and host of conferences
run by his publications. One of the few writers to truly have
an “in” with Jobs, Mossberg famously got the chance to do one
of only two joint interviews the Apple co-founder gave with
Bill Gates (the other one was a far less chummy
1991 print interview for Fortune magazine.)


Mossberg’s
2007 discussion was one of the most out-of-his-comfort-zone
interviews of Jobs’ career. It ended with the Apple chief
quoting The Beatles to describe his relationship with Gates.



“I didn’t
make this decision lightly or hastily or under pressure,”

Mossberg writes of his retirement. “It emerged from months
of thought and months of talks with my wise wife, my family,
and close friends. It wasn’t prompted by my employer or by some
dire health diagnosis. It just seems like the right time to
step away. I’m ready for something new.”


Mossberg
says he’ll continue his columns, TV appearances and podcasts
this month and next before calling it quits.

Tech journalism has changed a whole lot since 1991 — thanks to
both the internet’s ability to cater to niches, and the
explosion in popularity of the tech industry in general.
Nonetheless, Mossberg’s affable persona and fair,
plain-speaking reviews made him a mainstay for more than a
quarter century. That’s an impressive record!

While I’d recommend revisiting any number of Mossberg’s old
articles, I’d also suggest reading an excellent 2005 profile of him,
titled “The Kingmaker,” from Wired.

Have a good retirement, Walt!

.

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