Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple, has died aged 56.
The legendary head of the company had been suffering with pancreatic cancer since 2004 and earlier this year stepped down as CEO to be replaced by Tim Cook. He had assured the world that he would remain involved with Apple by being chairman of the board but sadly his time in this position was cut short.
“Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being” read a statement on Apple’s website. Meanwhile the homepage simply shows a portrait of him looking intently at the camera in signature black polo neck and chin scratching pose, with the years of his birth and death alongside – a fittingly minimalist tribute to the man’s style, passion and intensity.
His family also paid tribute in a seperate statement, adding “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”
US president, Barack Obama also paid homage saying “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”.
Once great rival and former CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates, said he was “truly saddened” to hear of Jobs’ passing and acknowledged the “profound impact” he had on the world. While Google CEO Eric Schmidt described him as “the most successful CEO in the U.S. of the last 25 years,” and said that “He uniquely combined an artists touch and an engineers vision to build an extraordinary company. One of the greatest American leaders in history.”
Steve Jobs lead the company through many of its brightest periods, overseeing the launch of the the groundbreaking colourful iMac, the iPod, the iPad and the iPhone. His death came just a day after Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S.
He leaves behind a company that is second only to Exxon Mobil in market value, with Apple valued at $351bn (£227bn).
But more importantly he leaves behind his wife, Laurene, and their three children, along with a daughter from a previous relationship.