Walt Mossberg, one of Steve Jobs’ favorite journos, is retiring

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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!