SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch 6.10.2011)
Steve Jobs, Apple Inc.’s co-founder and chairman, died Wednesday at the age of 56, following a long and complicated battle with cancer.
Apple issued a statement Wednesday night announcing the death of Jobs, who also served as the iconic consumer-electronics company’s chief executive two times over before stepping down in August, citing frail health.
In an email to employees, Tim Cook, Jobs’s handpicked successor, called Jobs a “visionary and creative genius” as well as a “dear friend and inspiring mentor.”
His statement did not give any further details of Job’s condition prior to his passing.
“Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple,” Cook wrote.
At Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., which just a day earlier played host to a big media event to introduce a new iPhone, flags were flying at half-mast. An Apple fan named Richard Charet, wearing a full Scottish kilt, played “Amazing Grace” on bagpipes amid a somber scene, recorded by the blog VentureBeat.
Jobs’s passing leaves behind the legacy of an iconic executive who has led Apple since 1997 – and has since managed to shake not one but three massive industries to their roots.
Known for his meticulous attention to detail, as well as a keen eye for aesthetics, a prescient sense of where technology was heading and an occasionally hot temper, Jobs has arguably left the stage at the top of his game.
Apple – the company Jobs and friend Steve Wozniak started in a garage in Cupertino three and a half decades ago – now sits at the top of the high-tech industry in terms of market capitalization, growth prospects and shareholder return. It has also amassed a war chest of more than $76 billion that constitutes one of the fattest wallets among all
companies in corporate America.
“The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come,” said Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, in a statement.
Gates, who spent most of his career in fierce competition with Jobs and Apple, added that, “for those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”
Life of Steve Jobs
Apple CEO and co-founder died Wednesday at the age of 56. Here is a look back at the life of an American business icon.
The last few years for Jobs presented great challenges. After the CEO survived a bout with pancreatic cancer in 2004, Jobs’s health problems continued to hang over the company. He took a six-month leave of absence in early 2009, during which he quietly underwent a liver transplant, it was later learned.
Jobs told Apple employees in January that he was taking another leave because of an unspecified medical condition. His last official public appearance as head of the company took place in June at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference.
Jobs leaves behind a company that has become a power broker across the technology, media and telecommunications industries. Perhaps ironically, he has done this as Apple’s legacy business – the Mac computer – inhabits much the same spot it has for decades, as a well-regarded but niche player in the PC market.