What is RUI Apple Computer?

Pruett and Klein (credit: Dwight Johnson)
I wrote or edited stories about Apple Computer and Steve Jobs for years, including the co-founder’s ouster and return to the computer maker. Now I am an Apple stockholder. I’m a big fan of its products — and its business plan to expand beyond the Mac into a digital media mogul.

In fact, Apple stock neared its 52-week high on Wednesday after reporting second-quarter profits that far surpassed Wall Street’s expectations, thanks largely to iPhone sales.

So when I read that our rural county’s clerk-recorder candidate Barry Pruett said he worked for “Apple Computer” and later “RUI Apple Computer,” it grabbed my attention.

Sierra College Trustee Aaron Klein mentioned this experience in his endorsement, and Pruett mentioned it on my blog — albeit in different descriptions (see below). Pruett repeated this again in The Union on Wednesday, stating, “As an overseas executive for RUI Apple Computer and a small business owner in Grass Valley, I have the management skills, experience and judgment to run a professional, stable office.”

Let’s get down to brass tacks, as my grandma used to put it: What exactly is “RUI Apple Computer?”

For a period of time, but not now, RUI Apple Computer was the computer maker’s Moscow-based distributor — a common business structure in countries such as Russia and China — but not quite the same as working directly for Cupertino-based Apple Computer. RUI is “overseas” by definition.

“RUI, formerly the sole distributor for Apple Computer Corp. in Russia, has sold its operations to Swiss firm Data Fox under pressure from Apple,” according to a 1994 article in the Moscow Times.

It’s fine for The Union to ask a Q&A for candidates, but the forum doesn’t let you “dig deeper,” as it did in this example.

After endorsing Barry Pruett, Aaron Klein ran this: “Correction: After checking with Barry, it is more accurate to describe RUI Apple Computer as an overseas Apple spinoff, so I’ve done so. I don’t think it makes a material difference for this post, but accuracy is always important.”

On this blog, Pruett wrote: “I’ve been a Director of Business Development for Apple Computer (another topic on which you and I agree!)” (No mention of “RUI” this time).

I’m impressed at Pruett’s Russian lauguage skills, his experience with a small business here, and his focus on family. But we all need to be clear about the rest of his resume when he’s running for the clerk-recorder’s seat.

Reminder: I’ve contributed to incumbent Greg Diaz’s campaign for the reasons stated.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

One thought on “What is RUI Apple Computer?”

  1. How are Russian language skills of value to a Clerk-Recorder in Nevada County, or for that matter, work as a business manager for APPLe’s Russian division? What skills, if any, does Barry Pruett have that would qualify him to head the Nevada County Clerk-Recorder’s office? Voters in Nevada County need to know a lot more about this candidate’s real background and work experience, So far, everything is hype and irrelavancies.

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