Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs has died after losing his long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56.
An Apple statement released today read: “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 CEO tim Cook said: “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.”
Jobs founded Apple in in 1976 with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, going on to create the first Mackintosh computers in 1984.
In 1985, Jobs was forced out of Apple following poor performance and a difficult working relationship with the firm’s CEO John Sculley.
That year, he founded NeXT Computer and began work on the NeXT Workstation.
In 1996, Jobs bought the firm which would later become Pixar, the digital animation company behind Toy Story, which has won a total of six Oscars for best animated film.
Pixar was bought by Walt Disney in 2006, making Jobs Disney’s largest shareholder.
In 1996 Jobs returned to Apple, and was appointed as CEO the following year.
Jobs revived Apple’s fortunes, and during his second stint at the firm revenues rose from $7.1 billion in 1997 to $62.2 billion last year.
He is credited with being the driving force behind Apple products including the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.
Both the iPod and the iPhone had revolutionised their respective markets, while the launch of the iPad in 2010 has effectively built a new market almost from scratch.
Jobs stood down as CEO of Apple in August, saying he could no longer meet his “duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO.”
He remained as chairman of Apple’s board until his death in California on October 5.