According to a statement just issued by Apple’s Board of Directors, company co-founder and longtime CEO Steve Jobs has passed away.
It was only a little over a month ago that Jobs stepped down as CEO saying at the time, “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.”
Jobs remained Chairman of the Board at the company, as well as director and an Apple employee. He recommended that company COO Tim Cook take his place as CEO. Yesterday, Cook gave his first keynote address as CEO, unveiling the new iPhone 4S.
While that device had been the focal point of Apple’s website for the past 24 hours, Apple.com is now simply dedicated to Jobs, using a famous picture of him (above) that will also grace the cover of his upcoming biography by Walter Isaacson due out next month.
Jobs had battled cancer, and in 2004 had an operation related to the disease. In recent years, illness had forced him to step back from his role as CEO of Apple on separate occasions. He also had a liver transplant in 2009 during one of those medical leaves.
But after each battle, he came back and continued his amazing work at Apple. In 2007, he unveiled the iPhone. In 2010, the iPad. His last appearance on stage was at Apple’s 2011 WWDC event in San Francisco. There, he laid the groundwork for Apple’s latest innovations including iOS 5, OS X Lion, and iCloud.
That performance as well has his announcement that he was stepping down as CEO of Apple for the final time, led to two of my favorite posts that I’ve ever written. Both were about Jobs:
Steve Jobs was 56 years old. Rest in peace, Steve.
The release from Apple:
Statement by Apple’s Board of Directors
CUPERTINO, Calif. — We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.
Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.
His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.
The Statement from Jobs’ family:
Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family.
In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.
We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.
Tim Cook’s email to Apple employees:
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.