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Tributes to Steve Jobs: Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Bob Iger


By The Drum Team, Editorial

October 6, 2011 | 4 min read

Tributes from some of the most powerful men in the world of politics and business, including President Barack Obama, have been paid to former Apple CEO Steve Jobs following his death.

In a statement, President Obama said: "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.

With the 2006 sale of Pixar to Disney for $7.4 billion in stock, Jobs, who has been compared to Walt Disney in terms of creative vision and impact, became the largest individual shareholder and a member of the board. But his influence at Disney began before that.

In 2005, he convinced Disney CEO Bob Iger to make ABC the first broadcast network offering programs through iTunes. The rapport the two of them achieved helped make the Pixar deal possible and laid the groundwork for a successful integration.

Iger issued this statement: "Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. 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. With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Laurene and his children during this difficult time.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin posted this on his Google+ feed:"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."

Larry Page, Google’s current CEO and co-founder, had this to say: "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."

Google, a fierce rival of Apple’s over the past several years, added a link to Apple’s Web page and Jobs tribute beneath its search bar with the simple inscription “Steve Jobs, 1955 - 2011.”

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and Jobs’ foil for decades, invoked a famous Jobs catchphrase on his Twitter feed: “For those of us lucky enough to get to work with Steve, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.” Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook and the likely heir to Jobs’ status as the most iconic leader in Silicon Valley, posted this on his personal Facebook feed: “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.”

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