Steve Jobs: 1955 - 2011
Apple announced Wednesday afternoon at around 4:45 Pacific time that its co-founder, former CEO and chairman Steve Jobs has passed away.
The following statement was published on the Apple.com site:
"Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. 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."
According to a Wall Street Journal article, the family also issued a statement, saying that Jobs "died peacefully today surrounded by his family...We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief."
The Apple.com home page is currently a memorial to Jobs.
The company said that anyone wanting to share their "thoughts, memories and condolences" can e-mail email@example.com.
Many tech lumaries posted tributes to Jobs after learning of his passing. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates wrote on his blog:
I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.
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.
Google's Sergey Brin wrote in part:
From the earliest days of Google, whenever Larry and I sought inspiration for vision and leadership, we needed to look no farther than Cupertino. Steve, your passion for excellence is felt by anyone who has ever touched an Apple product (including the macbook I am writing this on right now).
Google's Larry Page wrote:
I am very, very sad to hear the news about Steve. He was a great man with incredible achievements and amazing brilliance. He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it. ...My thoughts and Google's are with his family and the whole Apple family.
And here's Apple CEO Tim Cook's letter to the Apple employees in full:
I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.
Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. 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.
We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.
No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve's death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.
Current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer released the following statement:
"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 Obama posted a statement to the White House Blog at 9:15 ET:
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. ...
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.
Google has also linked to the Apple.com Steve Jobs tribute page from the main Google.com home page.