John Couch, Vice President of Education at Apple

As Apple’s vice president of Education, John Couch has been responsible for driving Apple’s renewed success in the education market. He has over forty years experience as a computer scientist, executive and advocate for technology in education. During his current tenure at Apple, John has grown Apple’s education business to 9 billion dollars.  

Directly prior to his current position at Apple, Couch was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DoubleTwist Inc, a leading provider of genomic information and bioinformatic analysis technologies which made headlines by provide a comprehensive annotation of the human genome. The year before joining DoubleTwist, he was Executive in Residence for Mayfield Fund, a Venture Capital firm, where he provided strategic planning, management and technology advice to high technology companies.

Couch began his professional career in 1972 as a software engineer at Hewlett-Packard, where he held held various management positions.  

In 1978 he joined Apple as Director of New Products reporting to Steve Jobs. He was Apple’s first Vice President of Software and Vice President/General Manager for the Lisa division, Apple’s first Graphics User Interface computer.  

In 1985, he turned his focus to education at the Santa Fe Christian School where he created a business plan for the debt-laden private school into one of the first examples of how the creative use of technology can revolutionize learning in the classroom.  Under his leadership as Chairman of the Board, the school’s annual losses were annulled and the student body grew from 150 to 1000. The school’s rented facilities were expanded via the purchase of the 17-acre site, offering a range of world-class resources, including a fiber optic network of Macintosh computers.  

Couch holds a Bachelor degree in computer science and a Masters degree in electrical engineering and computer science, both from the University of California at Berkeley where he was honored in 2000 as a Distinguished Alumnus. He has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters and a “Leadership in Innovation Award” from Philadelphia University. He is the author of the science research associates textbook, Compiler Construction: Theory and Practice and has taught at both University of California, Berkeley and at Cal State San Jose.