On August 24, 2011 Steve Jobs released the following open letter
to the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:
"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.
"I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.
"As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.
"I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.
"I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.
In a Commencement address he delivered to Stanford University graduates on June 12, 2005, jobs commented directly on the topic of death.
"When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
"About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
"I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.
"This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
Yesterday afternoon, Steve Jobs’ family today made the following statement regarding his death:
"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."
Apple CEO Tim Cook today sent the following email to all 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 .
"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.
Apple’s Board of Directors issued the following statement:
"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 White House Office of the Press Secretary released a statement by the President on the passing of Steve Jobs
"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."
Jobs's friend and Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniack said:
"I'm going to remember him as always being [of] very quick mind, and almost all the time that we had discussions about how something should be done in the company, he was almost always right. He had thought it out. He had thought out why a product should go to the left, instead of to the right. So, just really his intelligence, common sense, knowing what made sense in a product, what wasn't going to sell, and what was going to sell. And when you should implement a new technology and be ahead of the world and when, maybe, you should be a little bit of a follower."
Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, friend and rival of Steve Jobs, released the following statement:
"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."
YouTube video of Jobs and Gates discussing taste
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer posted 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.”
Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen said:
"My condolences to Steve Jobs family and friends. We’ve lost a unique tech pioneer and auteur who knew how to make amazingly great products."
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, a former Apple board member said:
"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."
Google co-founders Larry Page - now Google's CEO - and Sergey Brin both posted their expressions of sadness and condolences on their Google+ accounts late Wednesday night:
"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. His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me. He was very kind to reach out to me as I became CEO of Google and spend time offering his advice and knowledge even though he was not at all well. My thoughts and Google's are with his family and the whole Apple family."
"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). And I have witnessed it in person the few times we have met.
"On behalf of all of us at Google and more broadly in technology, you will be missed very much. My condolences to family, friends, and colleagues at Apple."
Samsung Electronics CEO Choi Gee-sung, whise company is both a longtime Apple OEM supplier and recently a litigation antagonist said:
"Samsung Electronics is saddened to hear of Chairman Steve Jobs’ passing and would like to extend our deepest condolences.
"Chairman Steve Jobs introduced numerous revolutionary changes to the information technology industry and was a great entrepreneur.
"His innovative spirit and remarkable accomplishments will forever be remembered by people around the world. We would like to again express our sincerest condolences to Mr. Jobs’ family and his colleagues."
Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. co-chairmen of Apple's smartphone and tablet sector competitor, BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion released a statement saying:
"Steve Jobs was a great visionary and respected competitor. Our deepest condolences to his family and to all of the employees of Apple."
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posted:
"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."
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg issued the following statement on the death of Steve Jobs:
"Tonight, America lost a genius who will be remembered with Edison and Einstein, and whose ideas will shape the world for generations to come. Again and again over the last four decades, Steve Jobs saw the future and brought it to life long before most people could even see the horizon. And Steve's passionate belief in the power of technology to transform the way we live brought us more than smart phones and iPads: it brought knowledge and power that is reshaping the face of civilization. In New York City's government, everyone from street construction inspectors to NYPD detectives have harnessed Apple's products to do their jobs more efficiently and intuitively. Tonight our City – a city that has always had such respect and admiration for creative genius – joins with people around the planet in remembering a great man and keeping Laurene and the rest of the Jobs family in our thoughts and prayers."
Former Pixar colleagues Ed Catmull and John Lasseter commented:
"Steve Jobs was an extraordinary visionary, our very dear friend and the guiding light of the Pixar family. He saw the potential of what Pixar could be before the rest of us, and beyond what anyone ever imagined. Steve took a chance on us and believed in our crazy dream of making computer animated films; the one thing he always said was to simply ‘make it great.’ He is why Pixar turned out the way we did and his strength, integrity and love of life has made us all better people. He will forever be a part of Pixar’s DNA. Our hearts go out to his wife Laurene and their children during this incredibly difficult time."
Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Computer said:
“Today the world lost a visionary leader, the technology industry lost an iconic legend and I lost a friend and fellow founder. The legacy of Steve Jobs will be remembered for generations to come. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to the Apple team.”
Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang commented:
“Steve was my hero growing up. He not only gave me a lot of personal advice and encouragement, he showed all of us how innovation can change lives. I will miss him dearly, as will the world.”
Carol Bartz, formerly of Yahoo observed:
“He was a very special person, and he didn’t get to where he was by having people like him all the time. He got to where he was because he had a vision and a purpose. It’s easy to try and please everyone, but he kept to his principles.”
Time Warner's Jeff Bewkes stated:
"The entire Time Warner family mourns the loss of Steve Jobs. The world is a better place because of Steve, and the stories our company tells have been made richer by the products he created. He was a dynamic and fearless competitor, collaborator, and friend.. In a society that has seen incredible technological innovation during our lifetimes, Steve may be the one true icon whose legacy will be remembered for a thousand years."
News Corp's Rupert Murdoch said:
“Today, we lost one of the most influential thinkers, creators and entrepreneurs of all time. Steve Jobs was simply the greatest CEO of his generation. While I am deeply saddened by his passing, I’m reminded of the stunning impact he had in revolutionizing the way people consume media and entertainment. My heart goes out to his family and to everyone who had the opportunity to work beside him in bringing his many visions to life.”
Intel CEO Paul Otellini noted:
“True genius is measured by the ability to touch every person on the planet. Steve did that, not just once, but many, many times over his amazing life. We at Intel were privileged to have known him and worked with him as he brought his creations to life. Our hearts go out to his family and to his many friends and co-creators throughout the world.”
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said:
“Steve was a teacher to anyone paying attention, and today is a very sad day for everyone who cares about innovation and high standards.”
Lenovo CEO Yuanqing Yuan said:
“Today the world lost one of its greatest innovators and visionaries with the passing of Steve Jobs. His achievements are unmatched in our time. We admired his spirit, his creativity and his passion. He not only changed the technology industry, he changed the world and made it better.
While we will all feel this enormous loss, I am confident that this industry will take to heart the lessons Steve taught us about innovation. Steve led this industry like a beacon for the past decade. As a competitor, he helped ensure all of us pushed even harder, and I am confident his legacy will continue to energize the industry for many years to come.
His spirit will carry on, and it will inspire all of us to achieve more. We would like to express the sympathy of all 27,000 Lenovo employees worldwide to his family and friends, and we joining the world in mourning his passing and celebrating his life.”
AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson issued this statement:
“We are saddened by the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was an iconic inventor, visionary, and entrepreneur, and we had the privilege to know him as partner and friend. All of us at AT&T offer our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife, family, and his Apple family.”
Disney CEO Bob Iger said:
"His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed, and the culture he defined.
"Steve was such an 'original,' with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started."
Lucasfilm's George Lucas observed:
“The magic of Steve was that while others simply accepted the status quo, he saw the true potential in everything he touched and never compromised on that vision. He leaves behind an incredible family and a legacy that will continue to speak to people for years to come,”
Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen commented:
“Steve is the best our industry ever produced – I don’t think anyone will ever match his accomplishments.”
Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway stated:
“He was one of the most remarkable business managers and innovators in american business history.”
Actor and former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger said:
"Steve lived the California Dream every day of his life and he changed the world and inspired all of us."
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said:
"We have lost an American hero. Steve Jobs is irreplaceable, but he will inspire people for generations – to innovate, to tackle great challenges, to do what you love, to change the world. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones."
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said:
"All of us would be touched every day by products that he was the creative genius behind, so this is very sad news and my condolences go to his family and friends."
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