Category: Steve Jobs

Mercurial

Walter Isaacson speaks at The Royal Institution in London

Walter Isaacson speaks at The Royal Institution in London

In a most auspicious setting Walter Isaacson took to the floor last night to talk about his 2011 biography of Steve Jobs. Having visited Amsterdam and Oxford this week on a whistle stop tour promoting the book it was particularly notable that Isaacson’s visit to London found him in a location that is special for all sorts of reasons but particularly in reference to science of which Isaacson’s past biography subjects include Einstein and Franklin.

Taking place in the famed lecture theatre of The Royal Institution in Mayfair, Isaacson set off the session retelling much of what is present in the biography of Jobs that was released not long after his death in October 2011. Mercurial is a word that pops up a lot when trying to create a summary of Jobs but according to Isaacson Jobs was a fan of the word.

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Apple’s Death Wish for the Rumour

Walt and Steve enjoying their interview at D5 in 2007

Walt and Steve enjoying their interview at D5 in 2007 | Photo by: Asa Mathat

It’s impossible to avoid using the term “post Jobs-era” but this week has proved more than any that with Tim Cook at the helm Apple is a changing company, and I believe changing for the better.

It’s no secret, Steve Jobs despised journalists unless of course he needed their help. As Apple grew, working with the press became less of a priority. Apple’s publicity is a self-perpetuating machine fed by hundreds upon hundreds of blogs posting emphatically about the latest Apple product announcement. Apple’s requirement for the press has diminished yet the media interest has grown. Anyone who has ever wanted to or attempted to contact an Apple PR representative knows the struggle required to get a response, in the majority cases you simply won’t get one.

The strategy of Apple’s PR team is to keep the feed of information as tightly scripted as possible, even when vice presidents are given an interview with a journalist they must stay on topic—that’s both the journalist and Apple VP (remember this Phil Schiller and Ben Cohen interview?). When the information isn’t coming directly from Apple then expectations are bound to get blown out of proportion and that’s a dangerous game.

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Steve Jobs: February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs holds Original iPhone at Macworld 2007

Steve Jobs holds the original iPhone at Macworld 2007

Steve Jobs was one of the greatest inventors and visionaries to ever grace this planet. His work and his passion are in the hands of hundreds of millions of people and the effects of such innovation enter every corner of our lives.

With the sad news of Steve Jobs’ passing there is naturally an outpouring of grief from colleagues, friends, admirers and those who just see what change Jobs made to their lives and thank him for that. The most fitting tribute to this amazing man is of course to continue to admirer his work and for all of us who contribute to the success of Apple to continue working. Whilst Jobs was clearly not a fan of the media, especially when it intruded his own life, it has been immeasurable in the success of Apple.

I don’t remember the first time I encountered Steve Jobs talking, presumably at some point in the late 1990s or early 2000s but I do remember the first time I sat in the same room as him. Granted there were 6000 other people in the room and I was a hundred odd rows back but the famous feeling, jokingly referred to as the “reality distortion field” was in full flow.

It was 2007 though, when I truly became awe-inspired by Steve Jobs and for the first time saw his passion. This time I wasn’t far from the stage, I’d had little sleep and had spent a lot of time on the cold streets of San Francisco but that January morning was a morning I still remember vividly now and will no doubt do so for a long time to come.

Macworld 2007 was, as most of you will know, the stage for the unveiling of the original iPhone. For those that were there the moment Jobs began discussing the iPhone was incredible. The passion ran through the room, as the icon spun on the screen as Jobs said, “a phone, an iPod, an internet communication device” and again, “a phone, an iPod, an internet communication device”. The anticipation, the excitement and the excellence of Jobs’ presence made the room electric, it was something I’d never felt before.

Steve Jobs Macworld 2007 iPhone launch

Steve Jobs after the Macworld 2007 keynote

It wasn’t clear to me at the time just how much this meant to Steve.

Following the keynote it is customary for members of the media to work their way down to the front and Steve would come back out and stand on stage, he often milled around the crowd chatting to CEOs of partner companies, joking and smiling.

That day in 2007 was different though, I had the good fortune of being one of the first to the front and witnessed the first person he spoke to following the unveiling, his wife, Laurene. He hugged her and then moved onto to shake some hands and disappeared back stage.

When Jobs returned, drink in one hand, iPhone in the other he made his way on stage held up the iPhone and smiled. Not the smile I’d seen from him before but a truly happy, elated smile.

I could see that day that Steve cared about his work, creating the best products possible was what he wanted from everything Apple did and on that day years of work was finally in the public eye and this is what truly made him happy.

The next time I saw such happiness from Steve was at the iPad launch in 2010 and again earlier this year at the unveiling of the second iPad. Clearly against all odds Jobs wanted to be there, he wanted to show his product to the world and fittingly said upon arriving on stage “I didn’t want to miss today.”

Steve Jobs has changed many lives in many ways, computers infiltrate every day of our lives and for that we can thank Steve, many can thank Steve for saving their lives or improving it with music and communication.

I can thank Steve for the number of incredible memories he has given me. Without Apple and Steve’s vision many of the amazing friends I’ve made going to Apple events and store openings and media gatherings around the world wouldn’t be in my life, without Steve I wouldn’t be able to wake up every day and write about a company and products that I love, after all Steve said it himself, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

I’ll never forget you Steve.

Steve Jobs Passes Away at 56

Steve Jobs. 1955 - 2011.

Apple has today said that Apple co-founder and former chief executive Steve Jobs has passed away at the age of 56.

In a statement Apple said that the company “has lost a visionary and creative genius” and that the world “has lost an amazing human being”.

In an Apple wide email CEO Tim Cook shared the news:

Team,

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 [email protected]

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.

Tim

Apple’s board of directors also released 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.

Steve leaves behind his wife Laurene, and his family, my hearts go out to them for their loss.

Messages of condoelnce can be emailed to [email protected]

Tim Cook: I Love Apple

Steve Jobs served as Apple’s CEO for 14 years. This week sees the biggest shuffle in Apple’s executive structure since 1997, the changes are reflected in the updated executive bio page on Apple’s website.

Tim Cook the new Chief Executive Officer of Apple has served as Chief Operating Officer since 2007 but he was snapped up by Jobs in 1998 following a short tenure at Compaq as VP of Corporate Materials. Cook is no stranger to the computer industry, outside of his long stint at Apple he has also worked for IBM and Intelligent Electronics.

In an excellent profile of Cook published by CNN in 2008 Adam Lashinsky gives a detailed look at the man who had been predicted to take over from Jobs for several years.

As pointed out by Lashinsky Cook once said that Jobs was “irreplacable” adding that “I see Steve there with gray hair in his 70s, long after I’m retired.”

Famed for keeping Apple’s product inventory the tightest of any electronics company and known as the man behind the deals that cornered entire component markets, like that $1.25 billion purchase of NAND flash in 2005.

Some of Jobs’ features also shine through in Cook, he is regularly sending email at ungodly hours and organises conference calls and meetings at any point in the week, his favourite being Sunday evening. As pointed out in Lashinsky’s extensive bio, Cook is also known to be formidable in meetings and with personnel, with a previous unnamed Apple executive saying that he’s seen Cook “shred people” in particular, “He asks you the questions he knows you can’t answer, and he keeps going and going. It isn’t funny, and it’s not fun.”

Also in true Jobsian style, Cook last year delivered a commencement speech at his alumni university Auburn.

Cook is no stranger to being the CEO of Apple, during 2004 when Steve Jobs was first diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer, Cook served in his place. Since then Cook has stepped in for Jobs twice, the first in 2009, earning him a cool $22 million bonus to say thanks and the second time of course beginning earlier this year.

Cook has big boots to step into but almost 24 hours after the news broke of Jobs’ departure it appears clear that investors, analysts and pundits are fully behind the new CEO and confident that Apple can continue its phenomenal success.

The sensible amongst us know that Steve Jobs was not Apple alone and many hundreds of talented people make up the successful consumer electronics company. That aside Jobs undoubtedly has a knack for understanding a product, his wisdom will for now remain at Apple as he serves on the board and no doubt takes an active role in future product development.

Cook has immediate challenges on his hands though, his previous position of COO needs to be filled quickly, most likely with Jeff Williams, and Ron Johnson Vice President for Retail will depart to be CEO of JC Penny later this year and will also require a speedy replacement.

Consensus across the valley and across the world is that Jobs will be missed as the iconic figurehead of Apple. We haven’t heard the last of Steve Jobs though and with the eminent blessing of Jobs we can all confidently stand behind Tim Cook as he continues to steer Apple.

Below is the first email sent to Apple employees from Tim Cook as Apple’s new CEO:

Team:

I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity of serving as CEO of the most innovative company in the world. Joining Apple was the best decision I’ve ever made and it’s been the privilege of a lifetime to work for Apple and Steve for over 13 years. I share Steve’s optimism for Apple’s bright future.

Steve has been an incredible leader and mentor to me, as well as to the entire executive team and our amazing employees. We are really looking forward to Steve’s ongoing guidance and inspiration as our Chairman.

I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple’s unique principles and values. Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that—it is in our DNA. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do.

I love Apple and I am looking forward to diving into my new role. All of the incredible support from the Board, the executive team and many of you has been inspiring. I am confident our best years lie ahead of us and that together we will continue to make Apple the magical place that it is.

Tim

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs and iPad

Steve Jobs uses iPad during unveiling keynote. Apple iPad Event by mattbuchanan, on Flickr

That day has come. Deep down inside we all knew that this day would come, ever since that moment in 2006 when we read that Steve Jobs, our beloved leader, was suffering from a very rare and very serious form of pancreatic cancer, we expected this. Some even prepared for this.

It has been a emotional ride since that day in 2004, a number of medical leaves have passed and speculation has consistently run high about Jobs’ health and the future prospects of Apple. Apple has soared, the products are greater than they’ve ever been and the brand is synonymous with products that change lives. Today we get a clearer picture of Apple’s future, but not that of Steve.

Any pundit following Apple will have known that Tim Cook, the brain of Apple would step up as CEO when that day came. The appointment of Cook as CEO comes as no surprise. Jobs’ resignation as CEO comes as no surprise, but it does contain a bolt of shock.

Amongst the shock and fear it should be remembered that Steve Jobs has always given Apple vision and direction, his acute attention to products and the needs of the consumer have shaped Apple into the world’s largest consumer electronics company. We should remember that Jobs will stay on at Apple as an employee and as chairman of the board, a role that Bill Gates holds at Microsoft and a role that is vital to the decisions of any corporation.

This news will without a doubt create further stories about Steve Jobs’ health; the stock will tank, investors will jump ship and the critics will crawl out of the woodwork but it’s important to remember that Apple’s vision is set, the future is laid out and Apple’s team is strong. Apple is strong.

Tomorrow will be an ordinary day at Apple, the offices will buzz with the news, shocked faces will walk through Cupertino but the employees will sit down and continue to work for Tim Cook as they have for several months, Apple’s heart will beat as Apple’s heart has always beat.

Steve Jobs created the personal computer world we live in, he created a vision of computers in every corner of our lives and he delivered upon it. Jobs’ memory and his work will live on in our lives forever.

I pray for Steve’s health, I thank Steve for the effect he has had on my life and I will forever respect and adore the man that changed the world time and time again. Here’s to the crazy ones.

Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple CEO

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs presents at Macworld 2008 | © World of Apple 2008

Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple with Tim Cook being named his successor. Steve Jobs will remain as chairman of the board and Tim Cook joins the board. The following letter was submitted to the Apple board of directors:

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.

Official Apple press release:

Apple’s Board of Directors today announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as Chief Executive Officer, and the Board has named Tim Cook, previously Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, as the company’s new CEO. Jobs has been elected Chairman of the Board and Cook will join the Board, effective immediately.

“Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” said Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple’s Board. “Steve has made countless contributions to Apple’s success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple’s immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.”

“The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” added Levinson. “Tim’s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does.”

Jobs submitted his resignation to the Board today and strongly recommended that the Board implement its succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO.

As COO, Cook was previously responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. He also headed Apple’s Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.

Steve Jobs Official Biography Arriving Early 2012

Steve Jobs and iPad

Steve Jobs uses iPad during unveiling keynote in January 2010.

In February 2010 it was revealed that Apple CEO Steve Jobs had picked Walter Isaacson from a long list of people to become Jobs’ official biographer. Isaacson was first spotted at the original iPad launch which sparked rumour of his potential position as Jobs’ life story teller.

During this weekend just gone it was revealed that the long awaited biography will be released in early 2012, published by Simon & Schuster and will be titled “iSteve: The Book of Jobs”.

The biography is said to be have been in the works since 2009 and contains interviews with Jobs, members of his family, colleagues at Apple and other silicon valley firms.

Jobs Ordered to Appear in iTunes Anti-Trust Case

Steve Jobs Presents on March 2 at iPad 2 Event

Steve Jobs Presents on March 2 at iPad 2 Event | Photo by sujal

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has this week been ordered to make a disposition in the ongoing “Apple iPod iTunes Anti-Trust Litigation” which first began in January 2005.

In November 2010 the plaintiffs for the case asked for permission to depose Steve Jobs and a hearing was scheduled for January 18, 2011. On January 17, 2011 Steve Jobs announced his indefinite medical leave from Apple so the hearing was “continued indefinitely, without prejudice”. It was agreed by both parties that Steve Jobs was too ill to stand.

On March 2, Steve Jobs took to the stage to announce the iPad 2 causing Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd to order jobs to show up for deposition. The deposition which will take place on an unknown date will last no more than two-hours and will take place outside of a court; he will be questioned on Apple allegedly changing software to prevent digital music files engineered by RealNetworks from playing on an iPod.

“The court,” Judge Lloyd wrote, “finds that Jobs has unique, non-repetitive, firsthand knowledge about the issues at the center of the dispute over RealNetworks software.”

Forbes Ranks Jobs World’s 110th Richest

Steve Jobs and iPad

Steve Jobs uses iPad during unveiling keynote. Apple iPad Event by mattbuchanan, on Flickr

This week Forbes released its annual list of world billionaires ranking Steve Jobs in 110th place, tied with Sunil Mittal. Forbes list Steve Jobs’ net worth at $8.3 billion up from $5.5 billion last year which placed him in 136th place. Steve Jobs is the 34th richest person in the US.

Steve Jobs continues to be paid just $1 in annual salary from Apple and the majority of his worth comes from the $4.4 billion in stock he holds in Disney. 96% of Jobs’ wealth is in securities held in trust with $284 million in assets.