Apple has reported that the co-founder of Apple, and former CEO, Steve Jobs has died from complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 56.
Apple released this statement on their website Wednesday night: “Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being period. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”
Jobs helped create Apple in the late-1970s and quickly became synonymous with the brand itself. He is credited with being the visionary behind such products as Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and iPad. Jobs left the company in 1985 because of differences with other executives. He returned in 1997 as an advisor, but was quickly appointed to CEO, and Apple has had most of its success since.
In 2004, Jobs underwent surgery for a rare form of pancreatic cancer. He also received a liver transplant in 2009. Both medical procedures were announced after the fact.
On August 24, Apple announced that Jobs had stepped down as CEO. He was replaced by Tim Cook.
[Update: Oct. 6, 12:55 a.m.]
CEOs of rival companies, business leaders, friends and President Obama commented on Jobs’ passing Wednesday night.
Microsoft co-founder and chairman, Bill Gates:
“Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives. 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. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”
Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer:
“I want to express my deepest condolences at the passing of Steve Jobs, one of the founders of our industry and a true visionary. My heart goes out to his family, everyone at Apple and everyone who has been touched by his work.”
President Barack Obama:
“Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators — brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.
By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.
The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.”
Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg:
“Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.”
Google chairman Eric Schmidt:
“Steve Jobs is the most successful CEO in the U.S. of the last 25 years. He uniquely combined an artists touch and an engineers vision to build an extraordinary company… one of the greatest American leaders in history.”