Steve Jobs, the driving force behind Apple’s rise to become the leading product-based business of its time, has passed away, following a long battle with cancer. He was 56 years old.
Jobs, who recently stood down as CEO of Apple, is credited as being one of the most innovative entrepreneurs of his generation and oversaw the launch of products including the iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Get daily business news.
The latest stories, funding information, and expert advice. Free to sign up.
A statement from Apple’s board reads: “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.”
Apple’s normal homepage has been replaced by a giant picture of Jobs, along with the message: “Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius and the world has lost an amazing human being.”
Venture capitalist Roger McNamee, who worked with Jobs, told NPR: “It boggles the mind to think of all the things that Steve Jobs did.”
“Any one of (his products) would have qualified him as one of the great executives in American history, the sum of which put him in a place where no one else has ever been before. “
“To me he is of his era what Thomas Edison was to the beginning of the 20th century.”
Jobs was just 21-years-old when he founded Apple in 1976, with Steve Wozniak. After launching a range of Mac computers, he was fired in a boardroom coup in 1985, only to make a triumphant return.
After returning to Apple in 1998, Jobs went about reinventing Apple, launching the iPod and then, six years later, the iPhone. This was followed by the launch of the iPad last year. In January, the Apple App Store passed the 10 billion downloads mark.
Jobs, who had suffered from pancreatic cancer in recent years, was the subject of intense media speculation over his health. However, his death, so soon after stepping aside as CEO to become chairman of Apple, has still shocked many in the tech world.
Mick Liubinskas, co-founder of Australian tech incubator Pollenizer, says: “Steven has been a pretty amazing guy throughout his whole life.”
“He’s held true to his vision and his values, and never wavered on that.”
“He’s been stubborn at times, in the face of massive pressure and criticism, but he held on and look where Apple is now.”
“It’s a testament to the huge vision that he had and his absolute passion for turning people on.”
“Being an entrepreneur is a delicate balance between listening and being stubborn, and he is the absolute leader in that respect.”
“I think his legacy for apps on the iPhone, and what that’s created, has had a huge impact on Australia. The app store has created a new opportunity for development. You can make a small app, launch it and make money without needing millions of dollars.”