Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple, has died.
He was 56.
Jobs took medical leave on January 17, 2011, battling a rare form of pancreatic cancer. He stepped down from the CEO role on August 25, 2011.
Apple's board of directors put out a statement confirming Jobs' passing at 10.34 am Australian eastern daylight savings time.
"We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today," the note said. "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."
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Jobs' family put out a statement shortly afterwards.
"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."
The company has also created a web page for customers and partners at http://www.apple.com/stevejobs.
Already, tributes are flowing through on social networking sites such as Twitter.
- Google co-founder Larry Page posted a tribute saying: he was "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."
- Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates also sent a tribute to the Wall Street Journal, stating he was "truly saddened" to learn of the news of the passing of his former colleague, competitor and friend. "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."
- Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told the LA Times: "Steve Jobs exceeded every goal he ever set for himself."
- Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen tweeted: "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."
- US President Barack Obama said: "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. 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."
- Salesforce.com chief executive Marc Benioff tweeted: "Steve Jobs was the greatest leader our industry has ever known. We are all blessed by his life. My thoughts and prayers are with his family."
- Dell chief executive Michael Dell tweeted: "Today the world lost a visionary leader, the technology industry lost an iconic legend and I lost a friend and fellow founder. The legacy of Steve Jobs will be remembered for generations to come. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to the Apple team."
- Cisco Systems chief executive John Chambers posted a note saying that the world "lost a true visionary and great man today. Steve Jobs did more than simply shape our concepts of technology and invention, he helped define our understanding of how great innovation and design can bring people closer together."
- Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posted on his Facebook page: "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."
- Google co-founder Sergey Brin posted condolences on his Google+ page. "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)."