In the wake of the death of tech luminary Steve Jobs, who died on October 5, 2011 at the age of 56, several celebrities in and outside of the tech industry have issued condolences, statements, and messages.
Steve Jobs, of course, was until recently the CEO of Apple
, and was Chairman of the Board until his death.
Among the mourners, first and foremost, was U.S. President Barack Obama. He said,
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.
Apple's co-founder, Steve Wozniak, has not issued a statement as yet. The only reference to Jobs' death was in a Tweet he issued, in which he said,
Keeping family dinner despite the disturbing news. (@ Outback Steakhouse)
Perhaps Jobs' greatest rival, at least during the earlier days of both Microsoft and Apple, was former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, who said:
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.
Microsoft's 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.
Current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said,
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.
Chairman Eric Schmidt, who once sat on the board of Apple and who angered Jobs with the development of Android, which Jobs saw as a direct assault on the iPhone, 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's co-founder and CEO Sergey Brin said,
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.
Google co-founder Larry Page said,
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.
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, who attended the Obama tech summit earlier in the year along with both Schmidt and Jobs, said:
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.
Another politician, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said,
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.
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.
His former colleagues at Pixar, Ed Catmull and John Lasseter said:
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.
Despite the enmity between their two companies in terms of legal battles, Samsung Electronics CEO Choi Gee-sung 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.
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.
Finally, despite the fact that the iPhone and later, Android phones, may have sealed the eventual fate of their BlackBerry devices, RIM said,
Steve Jobs was a great visionary and respected competitor. Our deepest condolences to his family and to all of the employees of Apple.