Walt Mossberg, the tech columnist who has over his multi-decade career well earned adjectives like “veteran” and “venerable,” has announced that he plans to retire in June, after this year’s Code Conference:
I didn’t make this decision lightly or hastily or under pressure. 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 has certainly been one of the most prominent tech columnists during my entire career—I’ve heard him referred to as “Uncle Walt” by more than a few of my colleagues—but that’s a position that has definitely begun to seem like a dying breed in this age of social media and the web.
Mossberg, for his part, has adapted pretty well over the years, with his background in traditional journalism leading naturally his position as the Wall Street Journal’s personal tech columnist. From there he co-founded Recode, which was subsequently acquired by Vox. Since then, he’s been a regular presence both there and on Vox’s other major tech property, The Verge.
My favorite Mossberg story is still seeing him hop up and sit on a table in an Apple demo area to talk to a vaguely irritated-looking Steve Jobs. I’m pretty sure nobody else could have gotten away with that, and I’m not sure we’ll see quite his like again.